Presentation on theme: "SJ Work. SJ and UUFSB Who is here and why? Flexible agenda: – What is SJ? – Examples of current issues – SJ standards from UUFSB members – Types of SJ."— Presentation transcript:
SJ and UUFSB Who is here and why? Flexible agenda: – What is SJ? – Examples of current issues – SJ standards from UUFSB members – Types of SJ work (from UUA) – Threshold goals/outcomes – Collaboration brainstorming – Structure for the future – a pilot. – Inviting the Congregation in
What is social justice? Social justice is… – Take a paper and writing implement from the basket – Define SJ in one sentence
SJ Always from UUFSB members WITHIN – Has process for raising issues with congregation – Seeks congregational input and does not assume congregational support on an issue – Is informed about all aspects/facts – Acts with compassion even in the face of disagreement – Provides space for safe airing of diverse views – Has a strategy for actions – Offers multiple levels of participation with education and action – Makes participation easy
SJ Always from UUFSB members WITHOUT – Seeks allies in the work – Never tells oppressed groups what they need – Connects to the larger UU world – Works outside our comfort zone – Speaks out against injustice – Attends to local needs while thinking globally
THRESHOLD ON SJ STARTED WHERE WE ARE: 4 GROUPS – SJ – EARTHKEEPERS – INTERWEAVE – RCC 4 TYPES OF ISSUES – ECONOMIC, IMMIGRATION, DEMOCRACY, PEACE – ENVIRONMENTAL – LGBT1QQI – RACISM AND RACIAL INEQUALITY
POSSIBLE ACTIONS WITHIN - EARTHKEEPERS Beginning Sept. 2012, the leaders of every UUFSB event will report at the conclusion of each event that they engaged in recycling, using recyclable products, & working with green venders. – Create a sign-off sheet for events (summer 2012) – Earthkeepers to seek Board Mandate (Summer 2012). Following approval, Susan will have the form and provide it to every group running an event – Each group shall return the form to office (maintain a file). Earthkeepers to review forms at regular intervals and report to the Congregation.
POSSIBLE ACTIONS WITHOUT - SJ The Social Justice Committee and Interdenominational Affairs will lead the congregation to work in partnership with an advocacy/service organization to build bridges between the congregation and the immigrant community. The partnership will begin in Fall 2012, identify an appropriate advocacy project by Jan. 2013 and complete the project by June 2014. Threshold SJ team will meet with SJC to discuss and develop this outcome. SJC will report to the Congregation during each annual Congregational meeting (oral or written).
Types of SJ Activities (from UUA) SERVICE: The purpose of social service is to meet the needs of persons in distress. (soup kitchens, food pantries, WPP tutoring) EDUCATION: The purpose of social education is to educate people about the importance of a social issue. (immigration, Citizens United) WITNESS: The purpose of social witness is to make public by word or deed the convictions of an individual or organization regarding a particular issue. (Welcoming Congregation)
Types of SJ Activities (from UUA) ADVOCACY: The purpose of advocacy is to work through the legislative process to impact public policy. (marriage equality) COMMUNITY ORGANIZING: The purpose of community organizing is to participate in the process by which decisions are made in places of power.
EXAMPLE OF A 5-PRONG SJ PROGRAM First UU Church of Columbus, OH program to empower homeless people Service: individuals – eight-week training program to develop a personal relationship with a homeless person living in one of two local shelters. – serve as sounding boards and advocate for people at government and social welfare agencies. Service: congregation – provide money, food, and clothing to shelters
Example of 5-prong SJ program Education: – forums on homelessness – Guest speakers deliver sermons on the topic – Announcements in the church service and articles in the congregation's newsletter. Witness: – participate in rallies to save the general assistance program – issue press releases providing information about the problem of homelessness and what their congregation is doing about it.
Example of 5-prong SJ program Advocacy: lobby elected officials about homelessness, especially when extra money was needed to keep one of the shelters open. Community organizing: – member of a congregation-based community organization BREAD, which, over the past three years, initiated and maintained a Jubilee Housing Campaign to address the dramatic shortage of affordable housing in central Ohio. A – Led to creation of Columbus–Franklin County Affordable Housing Trust Fund which targets its resources to low-income families. – The city and county have invested $6.2 million in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund – Many homeless people have found jobs and homes.
Collaboration at UUFSB? Pick one or two of the issues we brainstormed and work to identify 2-3 types of work on which 2 or more committees could collaborate on a single issue. You may want to think of the different SJ strategies – service, education, witness, advocacy, community organizing Share with the group
Infusing SJ into the life of UUFSB One strong threshold goal is to bring SJ work into the life of the congregation at multiple levels. This fits with Richard Gilbert’s UUA promoted model of the actions of our church.
Gilbert’s Model: According to Gilbert there are four dimensions of the religious life in the church: 1) the church as worshipping community, 2) the church as caring community in which a mutual ministry operates to meet personal needs, 3) the church as a community for life-span religious education, and 4) the church as a community of moral discourse and action.
A community of moral discourse and action? The UUA SJ Empowerment Handbook notes: “In moral discourse we discuss the important ethical and social issues of our day. And we take action on issues we feel strongly about. Social justice leaders need to recognize that “moral discourse and action” is just one aspect of the total life of our religious community—an important aspect—but still only one part. The congregation does not exist solely to do social justice. As a holistic institution, all four parts need to function well.”
How do we build our moral discourse and action dimension? In pastoral size churches, there is usually one or two committees focused on SJ work and the effort is to expand the work into the 5 strategies. In mid-size churches, like ours, they are often groups or committees interested in different facets of SJ work and/or different issues. The question is how to facilitate participation and collaboration?
Perhaps a structure for collaboration? UUA, following Richard Gilbert’s model, recommends the creation of a SOCIAL JUSTICE COUNCIL What is this? A way for multiple social justice groups or committees to share and coordinate their work and to collaborate.
Perhaps a structure for collaboration? An umbrella: Social Justice Council – Underneath are the 4 existing groups – Interweave – RCC – Earthkeepers – Social _____ (would need a new name)
Perhaps a structure for collaboration? How does it operate? Councils are often made up of a representative from each existing SJ group. The council meets monthly. What work is done? – Share information – Develop educational forums and actions – Discuss ongoing issues and concerns re SJ work – Plan for increasing congregational participation and buy-in – Anything we want!