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
October 7 – 1st Sunday Plate Collection
InterFaith Human Services Money Management IHS Money Management Program provides counseling and budgeting advice given to low-income families so that they can become self-sufficient. This program really works. Many people have no idea how to manage their small income, so this counseling goes a long way toward getting clients on the right path to managing their money on their own. Several people/families “graduate” from the program each year as they have learned how to make scarce resources go further. ~~ Sue Smith
October 13, 8:30am – 4pm – UU PLAN Leadership Training Day, Harrisburg, PA
Opportunity for Social Justice advocates: All Unitarian Universalists active or interested in social justice are invited to attend and participate at UUPLAN’s Leadership Day. The day is intended for seasoned social justice advocates and those with no previous social justice experience.Breakfast snack and lunch included.
Rev. Dr. Neal Jones of the Main Line Unitarian Church of Devon, Pennsylvania and Rabbi Michael Pollack of the March on Harrisburg will present.
The program will provide:
• Inspiration, ideas, and support for the MidTerm November elections
• Chance to discuss issues and share stories with others who are “in the trenches”
• Specific information on how legislation is enacted in the Pennsylvania legislature
• Lunch and Refreshments
$15 Registration fee, funds are available. Register online at www.uuplan.org or contact Peg for same day registration and carpooling. We do need a head count to order lunch. Mdobrinska413@comcast.net or 814.883.6734
November 20 to December 15 – Guest at Your Table
Guest at your table raises money for UUSC which is the UU Service Committee, our international response to crisis such as famine.
January 2 to 13 – Out of the Cold Homeless Shelter
Out of the Cold comes to the UUFCC. Volunteers needed for meals, overnights, set up, clean up, laundry, etc.
Contact Peg with questions. Signup sheets coming in November.
April 11 to 13 – UU/UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar in NYC
April 26 – Freedom Seder
June 19 to 23 – General Assembly Spokane Washington
UU’s from across the country gather once each year to attend to organizational business, hear from national leaders in many fields, plan and worship together. Great opportunity for new ideas and inspiration. Registration for each General Assembly (GA) generally opens on March 1, and pages are updated accordingly. Scholarships are available. https://www.uua.org/calendars/uua/general-assembly-2019
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.
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 (open)
- Immigration (Elaine Jurs- temporary)
- LGBTQ (open)
- Mass Incarceration (Peg Dobrinska)
- Preventing Gun Violence in PA (Libby Gage)
- Reproductive Justice (Michal Stump)
- Good Governance (Ron Simpson)
IF YOU WOULD LIKE 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.