Social Justice Overview
As Unitarian Universalists, we have a legacy of “deeds not creeds.” Our work for a better world calls us to unexpected places as we harness love’s power to stop oppression. From grassroots community organizing to running a food pantry, in protest marches, prayer vigils, and accompanying immigrants in Sanctuary from deportation, First Church puts our faith into action.
Our justice efforts are grounded in our call to break down divisions, heal isolation, and honor the interconnectedness of all life and all justice issues. We seek to model these commitments not just though work "outside" our walls but also by creating a just, welcoming, and inclusive congregation.
Our ministry includes service, education, advocacy, and public witness (the spiritual practice of taking a public position in support of justice). Our most active projects are:
Sanctuary: accompanying immigrants in Sanctuary from deportation.
We also participate in yearly service and organizing projects, like preparing and serving lunch for Ecclesia Ministries‘ Common Cathedral and participating in the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute / Mother's Day Walk for Peace.
Our church's justice ministry sits in a wider denominational context: our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)'s Side With Love campaign harnesses the power of love to end oppression. Our UUA's Love Resists campaign -- a joint effort with the UUSC -- activates people of faith and conscience to resist the harm inflicted by criminalization. The UU College of Social Justice provides experiential learning opportunities to deepen the work of justice for people of all ages. Our denomination's congregationally-driven social justice statements inspire action and give us theological grounding.
Declaration of Conscience
On January 18, 2017, the Presidents of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee issued a Declaration of Conscience asking that individuals and congregations support it. At the semi-annual congregational meeting on Sunday, January 22nd, members present voted to do so. The Declaration states:
At this extraordinary time in our nation's history, we are called to affirm our profound commitment to the fundamental principles of justice, equity and compassion, to truth and core values of American society.
In the face of looming threats to immigrants, Muslims, people of color, and the LGBTQ community and the rise of hate speech, harassment and hate crimes, we affirm our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
In opposition to any steps to undermine the right of every citizen to vote or to turn back advances in access to health care and reproductive rights, we affirm our commitment to justice and compassion in human relations.
And against actions to weaken or eliminate initiatives to address the threat of climate change - actions that would threaten not only our country but the entire planet - we affirm our unyielding commitment to protect the interdependent web of all existence.
We will oppose any and all unjust government actions to deport, register, discriminate, or despoil.
As people of conscience, we declare our commitment to translate our values into action as we stand on the side of love with the most vulnerable among us.
We welcome and invite all to join in this commitment for justice.
The time is now.
For more information, or to learn how you can get involved, please contact the Social Justice Action Committee chair here.