Bean Supper benefits Wilson Center’s community building mission

Bean Supper
Bean Supper(Connor Magliozzi)
Published: Nov. 20, 2022 at 6:24 PM EST
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - The Church of Universal Fellowship hosted a bean supper put on by the University of Maine’s Wilson Center.

Everyone was welcome to come get a plate as the center works to foster a welcoming community.

“We’re a community center where people from all different backgrounds can come together, learn from one another’s perspectives, build community, work for social justice, and try to create peace in our home communities the way that we hope we can do in the world at large,” said Wilson Center Director Sonja Birthisel.

The partnership between the center and the church provided a larger space to welcome in more people.

To better support the center’s mission of community building.

“I think community has always been central to who we are as human beings. We’re a species that that is interdependent that relies on one another,” said Birthisel.

That community is built upon many different identities.

“Diversity is divine. It’s wonderful and it’s also complex. Sometimes when we come at things from different life experiences and different perspectives, it does lead to conflict and misunderstanding. And we’re a place that really seeks to be able to hold space for real dialogue where we can listen to one another across difference with intent to learn and grow, recognizing that part of that is helping to educate one another about where we’re coming from and part of it is being willing to learn and always continue our education. And growth in this world,” Birthisel said.

Funds raised from the day go into funding the work that the Wilson Center does.

“We’re a low budget nonprofit operation that runs on the love of volunteers and donations from community members like you,” said Birthisel.

And they’re looking to continue to expand the work that they do.

“We’re always looking for volunteers for people to come to the table and just join us in the community endeavor and for donations,” Birthisel added.

If you’d like to learn more about the Wilson Center, you can do so here.