Our outreach activities provide avenues for the congregation, individually or collectively, to take our faith in service to the wider community. Activities that let us walk the walk, rather than talking about walking the walk.
Earth Day Festival– We plan and hold the annual Texoma Earth Day Festival each April. The festival includes a key note address, workshops, children’s activities, a trash fashion show, student art show, vendors, and recycling. The Earth Day Planning Committee is made up of both members of Red River UU and community leaders from other congregations and organizations. We partner with more than 40 sponsoring businesses and organizations to create the festival. Most of the sponsorships were in the form of in-kind donations. Both the Friends of the Sherman Public Library and Austin College’s Green Serve schedule their coordinating events around the Texoma Earth Day Festival.
• Dinners at the Grayson County Shelter – Several local congregations regularly rotate in providing a supper for the current shelter residents. Our commitment has been once a quarter. Volunteers create a menu, divide up the work and each prepares (or purchases) their part. Some then stay and have dinner with the shelter residents.
• The Little Free Library – Our Little Free Library creation story began when a member of our congregation, on a visit to Madison, WI saw a Little Free Library. He brought the idea back to Texas and church members designed and built our library which we opened in June, 2014. At the time we were the only L.F.L. in Grayson Co, TX and Bryan Co. OK. We’re proud to have planted the seed. Today there are several other L.F.L. in Denison, including at the local library.
• G.O.T.V. – Get Out The Vote, as in staffing a table at community events to get people to register to vote. The congregation received a small UUA grant ($229), made two large banners and held 4 or 5 drives. While that seems puny, we’ve lent our banners to several other organizations that have found the banners a plus in recruiting potential registered voters.
• Annual Fan Drive – Now in its 4th year (if someone take the lead), each spring a local radio station holds an area-wide fan drive for those without a/c. We collect between 18-20 fans and deliver them to the radio station.
• Tx UU Justice Ministry – The congregation voted to become a member of TXUUJM when it first was created, and we donate $2/member annually. We have one or two members who are on their advisory board.
• LGBTQ+ MeetUp – The current LGBTQ Welcoming Committee created a Texoma LDBTQ MeetUp and hosts events. At the May 2019 Spring congregational meeting, the congregation unanimously approved our congregation’s application to the UUA to become a Certified Welcoming Congregation.
• Grayson County NAACP – The congregation hold a life-time membership in the chapter but we have rarely been involved in any of its work. Some years we have purchased a table for their annual youth scholarship dinner, held at Austin College. We use to be on their email list, but we no longer received their information.