For Unitarian Universalists, social justice means taking action. It’s not enough to talk the talk; you must also walk the walk. 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 the ball forward and we celebrate new initiatives!
The Social Justice Committee meets the 2nd Sunday of the month at 11:30am, in the downstairs foyer. We meet to plan and touch base with the leaders of our current projects. All are welcome to attend.
Peg Dobrinska, Chair
Deb Hagar, Program Council Rep
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)
- Immigration (Elaine Jurs)
- Mass Incarceration (Peg Dobrinska)
- Gun Violence (Libby Gage)
- Environmental Justice (Ken Riznyk)
- Reproductive Justice (open)
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.
Mayan Families- Service trip to Panajachel, Guatemala
March 4th to 12th, 2017
This year we will return to Panajachel, Guatemala with the intent of constructing a very basic two bedroom house. A few of us will be going down in February to setup the construction and take intensive Spanish language classes. We will rent an apartment together and share expenses. There is also plenty of opportunity to do less strenuous physical work. We will be developing a preschool lesson in Spanish to present in all the preschools and leave enough supplies for it to be repeated throughout the year.
We have booked 5 rooms for up to 15 people, singles and doubles and triples at www.Caciqueinn.com Price for 3 people is $30/night/per person which includes breakfast. Last year the price of airfare was $450 round trip.
For more details, contact Peg Dobrinska (email@example.com)
All are welcome!
A look at our 2016 trip:
Out of the Cold
April 3-17, 2017
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
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.
Several UUFCC members have come together with folks from 10-12 local churches to form the Centre County Refugee Welcome Committee. We work with the Church World Service, who has years of experience with the State Department to screen and settle refugees.
Please check the Facebook page for “Centre County Refugee Welcome Committee” for further information.
UU/UNO (Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office) Intergenerational Spring Conference
With a deep passion for and commitment to international human rights, youth and adults from all over North America gather annually for our three day seminar to dig deeply into issues with global impact.
The intergenerational seminar is an opportunity to collaborate with others while learning how to be a global activist. Through workshops, peer and expert-led panel discussions, community building activities, and worship services, participants undergo a transformative process of learning, reflection, and growth as we explore some of the most challenging issues facing humanity today.
Our 2017 seminar, Arm in Arm: Interfaith Action to Disarm Our Planet, will be April 6-8, 2017 in New York City. (Youth and sponsors will arrive April 5th for orientation.)
Together, we will consider interfaith engagement with issues such as:
- Reducing gun violence and the proliferation of small arms
- Nuclear disarmament and the abolition of other weapons of mass destruction
- Use of unmanned drones
- Chemical and biological weapons
- Strengthening global peace and security
- Racial implications and consequences of armed violence
Registration is now open for our 2017 Seminar! Scholarships are available. For further information, contact Peg Dobrinska (email@example.com) or Andrew Mickle, or visit the UU/UNO Seminar website.