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
August 6th First Sunday Plate Collection is Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders provides emergency medical care where the need is greatest to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from medical care. Doctors Without Borders does heroic work around the world, often in trying circumstances. Right now they are deeply involved in emergencies in Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Syria, and Haiti. ~~ Peter Jurs
STOP TOLL BROTHERS FROM BUILDING!!!
Please use your contacts to reach out to property owners in very visible locations to display “NO TOLL” yard signs. Signs are available in the lobby of the Fellowship. If you’re able, consider spending a few hours hanging out at the occupy campsite on Whitehall Rd. Daytime hours are especially needed.
Important Food Bank Donation Notice!
Patty Zarkower asks that before you contribute items to the Food Bank, please check that they have an expiration date or “use by” date that has not expired. Thank you!
Green Sanctuary Updates
Hurrah for the Buildings and Ground Committee!! Stop around the back of the building to check out our Pollinator Garden coming into full bloom!
While you’re out back, check out Jay Searles’ miraculously bearing beds! Buy some of the wonderful organic produce on Sundays!
Returned from his trip to Africa, Mr. Compost, Bob Minard, continues to stay on top of all the UUFCC’s recycling composting duties. Thank you, Bob!
Late in June, Kate Hynes and members of the Weatherization Team completed a raised garden bed blitz (five!) in Limerock Terrace, a local income-restricted community.
Social Justice Programs
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
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
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.
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.