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.
***NOTE: There will be no meeting held in June or July.
Peg Dobrinska, Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
1st Sunday Plate Collection, June 3
Centre County Prison Society Pennsylvania Prison
For more than 230 years, the Pennsylvania Prison Society has led the nation in advocating for humane prisons and a rational approach to criminal justice. The Centre County Chapter serves over 4,000 inmates and their families. Each month, volunteer community members dedicate 30+ hours to provide one-on- one visits, programs, support groups, and re-entry services that bring hope to people during their incarceration and support upon release. Currently we are
raising funds to purchase an awarding winning outcomes-based parenting program. The funds will be used to purchase a license, train facilitators and prepare materials. By strengthening and deepening the connections of incarcerated men and women to their families, these programs improve lives of not just the people in prison but their children as well. Many UU’s are members of the Prison Society and lots of UU’s are presenting programs and donating to the Prison library and clothing closet. THANK YOU!
Out of the Cold completes 5 th season at UUFCC!!!
Thank you to all of the volunteers who made Out of the Cold successful. I know I met many new UU’s this season and I hope you did, too. Special thanks to Andy Richards, Ken Riznyk and Peg Dobrinska who served as site coordinators. Special thanks to Susan Ashley who served and cleaned up for 10 of our 14 evening meals, a huge help to all of us! Many overnighters did more than one shift this year. Manda Jones topped the list with 4 overnights. Doug Barch did three.
Thank you to the Dinner hosts: Elaine Barch, Starla Deitrich, Susan Ashley, Maya Spence, Barbara Hartle, Jean Giddings, Rocky Landers, Beth Gross, Sue Smith, Laura Brown, Elaine Jurs, Dorothy Blair, Elaine Loughlin, Kate Hynes and our youngest Youth Group member, Nancy Decker, Helen Dempsey, Laura Liermann, Chuck and Betsy Berry, Graham and Elaine Corby, Libby Gage, Wendy Snetsinger, Janet Irons, Martha Wadsworth, and Paula Ralph!
Over the Top Service from the Overnight Teams: Doug Barch, David Roberts, Cat Haverback, Paula Ralph, Marilyn Jones, Manda Jones, Jane Sleigh, Geoff Brugler, Bob Minard, Shashi Ray, Ron Simpson, Bill Butler, Charlotte Eubanks, Chuck and Betsy Berry, James Hynes, Rocky Landers, Mark Hayes, Troy Frank, Beth Gross, Ken Riznyk, David Bratcher, Sue Haug, Bob Andronici.
Special thanks to the set up and take down crew: Ken Riznyk, Ron Simpson, Doug Bartch, Bob Andronici, Jane Sleigh and Peg Dobrinska.
Social Action Initiatives throughout the Year
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.
Upcoming First Plate Collections approved at 2018 Annual Meeting
July Southern Poverty Law Center (Peter Jurs)
August State College Area Food Bank (Peter Jurs)
September Playground Improvements for Children with Disabilities (Allison Becker)
October InterFaith Human Services Money Management (Sue Smith)
November MidState Literacy (Cathi Alloway)
December Park Forest Day Nursery (Cathy Vandenberg)
The UUFCC is now a fully accreditation Green Sanctuary. The program involved examining our current environmental impact and developing sustainable practices grounded in Unitarian Universalism. In pursuit of accreditation, we pursued study, reflection, and action for today’s environmental challenges – including climate change and environmental justice. Successful completion has resulted 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 email@example.com
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 email@example.com
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 email@example.com
Many UU members continue to provide services, visits and programs to people incarcerated in Centre County. Contact Janet Irons at firstname.lastname@example.org to join in on this important work.