For Unitarian Universalists, social justice means taking action. Our Social Justice Committee participates in an array of social action programs in order to lift up and contribute to our communities, locally, nationally and internationally. We work for change from the ground up and we work to balance the scales of justice.
We welcome more participants to continue to move forward and we celebrate new initiatives!
The Social Justice Committee meets the 2nd Sunday of the month at 11:30am, in the Library. We meet to plan and touch base with the leaders of our current projects. All are welcome to attend.
Peg Dobrinska, Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
Save the Dates:
Feb 20, Daring Democracy authors’ workshop
April 6 Freedom Seder
April 4 to 7 UU/UNO Spring Seminar in NYC
April 23 to May 7 Out of the Cold Homeless shelter comes to UUFCC
June 20 to 24 General Assembly Kansas City, Missouri
DARING DEMOCRACY ~ Study Group Begins
One of the UUA Common Reads this year is Daring Democracy: Igniting Power Meaning and Connection for the World We Want by Frances Lappe Moore and Adam Eichen.
Books are $10 and available at the Social Action table. We will have one discussion at 11:45 on Sundays and another group discussion time to be determined by the participants. Contact email@example.com to register for the study group. Or 814.883.6734
One of the co-authors, Adam Eichen is partnering with the March on Harrisburg organization to present forums to Unitarian Universalist congregations in Pennsylvania. March on Harrisburg is one of our partner groups working to end gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. Our forum will be Tuesday, Feb 20 6:30 to 9 in Fellowship Hall. Please invite your friends and plan to attend.
First Sunday Plate Collections
Twice a year the congregation selects 6 charities to receive all the funds given at the first plate collection of each month. The UUFCC donates about $16,000 each year to various local, state and national charities. Recent and upcoming recipients include Park Forest Preschool, Schlow Library, Children’s Advocacy Center, Women’s’ Resource Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, and many other deserving organizations.
First Plate Collections Approved at our November Mid-Year Meeting
Jan 7 Citizens Climate Lobby, Sylvia Neely
Feb 4 Recovery NOW, Puerto Rico, Justine and Bob Andronici
Mar 11 Interfaith Human Services Emergency Fund, Wendy Vinhage
April 1 Out of the Cold, Peg Dobrinska
May 6 National Resource Defense Council, TBD by Dorothy Blair
June 3 Prison Society, Janet Irons
The UUFCC is currently seeking accreditation as a Green Sanctuary. The program involves examining our current environmental impact (which we have completed), then moves toward developing sustainable practices grounded in Unitarian Universalism. In pursuit of accreditation, we pursue study, reflection, and action for today’s environmental challenges – including climate change and environmental justice. Successful completion results in Green Sanctuary accreditation: a formal recognition of our service and dedication to the Earth.
Our current action includes:
- Increase the yearly Web of Life worship services
- More short Sunday service sharings about earth-based spiritual matters
- Introduce two new seasonal celebrations: Yule and Earth Day
- Increase Earth-based content of religious education by adding new UUA children’s curricula
- Adult/youth green foods course, provide bulletin boards to support local/organic education, a “green foods” table at coffee hour
- Green Sanctuary Film Series 1st and 3rd Wednesday nights
- Reducing our carbon footprint through transport alternatives and environmental assessment
- LED lights in the sanctuary, low-flow toilets and water heating alternatives
- Collection and Borough composting of all compostable items
- Enhance the Sustainability of the UUFCC Grounds through conversion of grass to biome-enhancing plantings
- Enhance social, eco-justice and climate change action through once-monthly after services letter writing, advocacy training, etc.
For more information on Green Sanctuary, or to get involved, contact Dorothy Blair firstname.lastname@example.org
Out of the Cold
Out of the Cold will come to UUFCC on April 23. We will need overnight staff and meals from our congregation. Training for overnight staff is provided and several changes have taken place since last season. We will be taking turns staying awake throughout the night. Those who are retired will take more of the awake time so people heading to work in the morning can get more sleep. Overnight shifts begin at 8:30 PM and end at 8:30 AM. You may leave earlier. Evening meal is at 8 and we welcome you to stay and have dinner and visit with our guests.
UUFCC is part of a team of 12 area churches used as overnight housing sites for those in our community who don’t have a place to live during the winter months. Hot meals, packed lunches, hygiene kits, blankets, and cots are available for anyone who needs a place to stay. If you want to be a part of this outreach ministry team, Out of the Cold will provide the necessary training and hands-on opportunities to serve.
For more information, contact Peg Dobrinska (email@example.com)
RESIST Table in Fellowship Hall
Be sure to stop at the SA table after services on Sunday. We will attempt to have a weekly update asking for you to contact your legislators in favor of or opposing proposed legislation. This is very easy to do and we have sample scripts. We will have petitions and other information for you. If you want the congregation to respond to something that is troubling you, send to firstname.lastname@example.org
The November elections show that anger can motivate a lot of people to become politically active. Putting that anger into action can create change. All across the US, new candidates emerged, particularly women, and many were successful. In PA we may have a Supreme Court that will support an end to gerrymandering. We need to keep pressure on our legislators to do what’s right to protect our Democracy.
Troy Frank has joined the Environmental Justice Team and will keep us informed of legislation that we will support or we will oppose.
UUFCC are active members of UU Plan (www.uuplan.com), the statewide UU Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network that supports legislative action on a variety of justice issues. The current political trends in PA are directly threatening to UU values regarding the rights and dignity of individuals, the democratic process, caring for our environment, and the rights of women and people of color.
We have chosen to advocate for justice on seven key issues:
- Economic Justice (Ken Riznyk)
- Environmental Justice (Troy Frank)
- Immigration (Elaine Jurs- temporary)
- LGBTQ (open)
- Mass Incarceration (Peg Dobrinska)
- Preventing Gun Violence in PA (Libby Gage)
- Reproductive Justice (Michal Stump)
- Good Governance (Toby Short)
IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ANY OF THESE TOPICS OR WHAT YOU CAN DO TO ADVOCATE FOR CHANGE CONTACT KEN, ELAINE, PEG, LIBBY, MICHAL, FRANK, OR TOBY.
Mayan Families- Service trip to Panajachel, Guatemala
For the past several years, we have made service trips to Panajachel, Guatemala. In the Spring of 2017, we constructed a very basic two bedroom house. We also developed a preschool lesson in Spanish to present in all the preschools and left enough supplies for it to be repeated throughout the year.
For details on upcoming service trips, contact Peg Dobrinska (email@example.com)
A look at one of our past trips:
Interfaith Power and Light- Weatherization
Our Weatherization Teams work together with Interfaith Power and Light. This program enables low income families to get help with the weatherization of their homes, saving them money and reducing energy consumption.
Our clients are people who receive financial heating assistance. Contact Ken Riznyk at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many UU members continue to provide services, visits and programs to people incarcerated in Centre County. Contact Janet Irons at email@example.com to join in on this important work.