On Sep. 25, UUCF held its second-ever Social Justice Retreat, a time for the congregation’s social justice teams to learn about each other’s efforts and common interests. Here are some of the activities UUCF members have been doing:
- Hypothermia Shelter volunteers continue to work with FACETS and regional congregations to keep people fed and housed each winter.
- The Racial Justice Steering Committee is working on local school board advocacy, including an action of public witness last Thursday to counter the frenzy around “critical race theory” and anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiment.
- Volunteers with UU the VOTE continue writing and sending postcards, with proven effectiveness at increasing voter turnout.
- The Food Crisis Team organizes monthly food drives and other activities that support local organizations and grassroots groups in feeding families in the region.
- The new Afghan Refugee Resettlement Team is looking at how the congregation can support Afghan neighbors.
- Act for Climate Today! (formerly the Climate Action Group) seeks a more sustainable world through advocacy, education, reducing plastic waste, organizing cleanup days and more.
Social justice can be empowering as we find ways to counter what harms us. It can be community building as we act together. It can be fulfilling as we do what our spirits yearn for. How can we best realize the potential of these efforts?
I believe in being present – with ourselves and with the culture that shapes us. Be present with each other, and the potential to commit good trouble together. Be present with community, and the suffering that no one deserves. Be present and know that liberation for the oppressed means a better world for everyone.
This is not work that can be done only in the head. Transformation lives in the body. This is why I encourage moving our planning and reflections into embodied acts of doing. There are many wonderful ways we can embody the love at the core of the eight UU principles, including the social justice efforts listed above. I also recently took a course with Rev. Christin Green on Emotional CPR (eCPR). It was an amazing practice in being present with others, building healing connections and offering a deep embracing welcome (more information on an upcoming course).
Our ability to build welcoming, diverse Beloved Community is deeply tied to our ability to be present with others and ourselves, and we all have room to grow. I certainly do. To learn more about UUCF’s social justice ministries, I would love to hear from you! Please email me. I look forward to the wonderful things we will continue to do together.