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 the ball 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
Guest AT Your Table- Thanksgiving through Christmas.
Guest at Your Table is UU Service Committee’s annual intergenerational program to raise support for and awareness about the UUSC’s work to advance human rights. This program is held at UUFCC between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We will be donating directly to the UUSC partnership with Asociacion Pop No’j. The United States is sending children and teens who came to the US seeking asylum back to Guatemala. Many become victims of sex trafficking and gang violence. This organization helps them reintegrate safely.
The 2017-2018 GAYT program theme is Small Change is Big Change.
Pick up a Guest at Your Table box at the SA table.
These are small cardboard boxes that sit on your dinner table.
Each night at dinner, place some spare change into the box perhaps the amount that their evening meal would cost for one more person. Emphasize to the children that by everyone joining together in a small way can bring about changes in a big way.
Before Christmas, you can count up the money you have collected, and submit a check made out to “UUFCC” with “Guest at Your Table” on the memo line.
Bell Ringing at Meyer Dairy begins in November!!
Every year Interfaith Human Services collaborates with hundreds of people throughout the county to organize one of our most visible fundraising events: the Wishing Well Campaign. This event runs from Black Friday through December 23.
Last year campaign raised over $26,000 to support low-income families with utility payments, new prescriptions, out-of-town medical appointments and emergency rental assistance. Signup Sheets at the SA Table. Our dates at Meyer Dairy are Saturday, November 25, December 5, December 20. All money raised stays in Centre County.
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.
Co-author, Adam Eichen is offering to partner with the March on Harrisburg organization to offer a forum to Unitarian Universalist congregations in Pennsylvania. March on Harrisburg is one of our partner groups working to end gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. They will travel together throughout Pennsylvania in late winter and early spring.
Details are still being worked out but they will begin scheduling visits soon. Let Peg Dobrinska (email@example.com) know if you would like to host a forum at UUFCC (and invite others in your area). SA committee intends to engage our congregation in a discussion of this year’s Common Read, Daring Democracy Schedule TBD.
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
**There will be a First Sunday plate collection for Puerto Rico on February 4, but if you prefer to make a donation now, you can do so online at the link below. PayPal will process your donation. Several of you have asked when we would have a recommendation to make for a specific charity effort on the ground and this is the one the Andronici family is involved with directly.
Following Hurricane Maria, help continues to be critically needed by those living in remote and heavily damaged areas on the West end and in the Central Mountains of Puerto Rico. The Recovery NOW – Western PR and Central Mountains Fund is a qualified charity within the long standing and well respected Puerto Rico Community Foundation (PRCF). The NOW Fund will specifically provide “on the ground” assistance to those that have lost homes, personal effects, schools, livestock and the ability to travel for work. The NOW fund was formed by members of the Puerto Rico and Centre County based Andronici family, two of whom are Fellowship members. UUFCC supported projects in Puerto Rico in the past with a trip to help needy families in 2009. The PRCF is a 501c(3) that has worked closely since 1984 with existing Puerto Rico based nonprofits in the same way as our local Centre Foundation supports local Centre Region nonprofits.
- Select “RECOVERY NOW FUND” from the Contribution pull down menu
RESIST Table in Community Room 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.
Green Sanctuary Happenings:
November 26, Sunday, 11:30 to 12:30pm, room 6, Adult Learning Hour. Join us for “TED and Talk,” a kid-parent friendly discussion of a particularly good TED talk on an environmental/nature subject. This 4th Sunday we feature Chef Dan Barber whose TED Talk is entitled “How I Fell in Love with a Fish.” The sustainably produced fish in question is produced in Spain with a revolutionary water farming method.
The Green Sanctuary Committee is applying for certification. If you have photos of Green Sanctuary events, would like to comment on our work, or tell us how you have become greener, please send these to Frans Padt: email@example.com
For more information on the Green Sanctuary, please contact Dorothy Blair (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Save the Dates!!!
- Now through December 23rd – Guest at Your Table raises money for UUSC – UU Service Committee, our international response to crisis such as famine. We will be donating directly to the UUSC partnership with Asociacion Pop No’j. The U.S. is sending children and teens who came to the U.S. seeking asylum back to Guatemala. Many are victims of trafficking and gang violence. This organization helps them reintegrate safely.
- Bell Ringing at Meyer Dairy for Interfaith Human Services, Nov 25, Dec 5 and Dec 20
- April 6th, 6pm – UUFCC’s annual Freedom Seder
- April 5 to 7 – UU/UNO spring seminar in New York City
- April 23 to May 6, 2018 – Out of the Cold
- June 20 to 24 – General Assembly in Kansas City, Missouri
Prison Society – 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.
The Weatherization Team is active this fall helping to prepare low income homes and trailers for the oncoming winter season. Our clients are people who receive financial heating assistance. Contact Ken Riznyk at firstname.lastname@example.org
RESIST Table in Community Room – Be sure to stop at the SA table in the community Room after services on Sunday. We will attempt to have a weekly update asking you to contact your legislators in favor of or opposing proposed legislation. This is very easy to do, and we have sample scripts, too. We will have petitions and other information for you. If you want the congregation to respond to something that is troubling you, send to email@example.com
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.
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.
November’s plate collection raised $2772 for Planned Parenthood!! Thanks to all who were able to donate!
Next First Plate: December 3rd – Park Forest Preschool
The Park Forest Preschool is a nonprofit, tuition-free school for two, three, and four-year-old children from low-income families. We offer a comprehensive program that includes education, social skills, and developmental motor skills taught by qualified teachers in a friendly, safe environment. In each classroom there are one to three teacher aides, providing additional attention. UUFCC has a long standing relationship with the formerly named Park Forest Day Nursery and Cathy Vandenberg is a member of the Board. Many UU’s have volunteered in many ways to support this important service to underprivileged children. ~~~ Cathy Vandenberg
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A look at one of our past trips:
Out of the Cold
April 23rd – May 6th, 2018
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)
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
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.