UU Justice Action (JustAct) News
March 2012: Unemployment is a Spiritual Issue
Dear Congregational Leaders:
UUA President Rev. Morales has called unemployment a spiritual issue and how we structure our economy a moral choice. This month’s congregational best practice lifts up the UUs of Clearwater, FL justice ministry in support of the most vulnerable in their community. To learn more about organizing a faithful response to our national economic priorities, UUs are invited to join an interfaith national gathering later this month. Also included below is the Faith Advocates for Jobs Congregational Toolkit for Standing with the Unemployed. Finally, there’s still time to nominate your congregation for the Bennett Award for Social Justice! Read on to learn how!
Just Act Best Practice: UU Clearwater, FL Social Justice Ministry & Monthly Report During Worship: The Social Justice Report is part of the worship service once a month at the Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater, FL. Its purpose is to inform the congregation about their social justice ministry and how they are living out their values as a faith community. The report is videotaped and posted on the congregation’s website as well. Recent highlights included the multigenerational holiday project that purchased presents for 130 children whose lives have been impacted by AIDS, participation in Occupy Tampa’s interfaith services, joining the NAACP for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day march, supporting immigrant farmworkers with a rice-and-beans collection, a rally and march for jobs, ongoing sale of Fair Trade products, and preparing to host a Green Fair in April. By sharing the justice ministry report during Sunday worship, the congregation remains connected with the important ministry they are engaging with in their community. And by posting it on their website they also keep the community informed. You can watch Social Justice Chair Bill Dishongh’s report here! The congregation is a member of the interfaith Faith Advocates for Jobs Campaign and recently raised over $650 to help support it! Thank you UUs of Clearwater for your justice ministry!
Faith Advocates for Jobs Campaign: Please sign up to be part of this new interfaith movement to support the unemployed in our congregations and communities and to advocate for a humane budget and job creation legislation. The UUA and dozens of UU congregations have signed on but we need more congregations to build the strength needed to change our national economic priorities. Most recently, FAFJ played a major role in gaining the 75 week extension for unemployment insurance to address the suffering being endured by millions of unemployed workers. Thanks to all of you who responded to our action alert. By signing up you will be invited to monthly webinar briefings, receive new resources, and be alerted to opportunities to join together for economic justice. See the campaign’s Congregational Toolkit for Standing with the Unemployed for information on what your congregation can do, worship resources, and the spiritual meaning of the economic crisis. Please also see the UUA webpages on economic justice, including a statement on Unemployment as A Spiritual Issue by UUA President Rev. Peter Morales.
Ecumenical Advocacy Days— Is THIS the Fast I Seek? Economy, Livelihood and Our National Priorities - March 23-26 in Washington, DC: The UUA is proud to be one of the co-sponsors of the 10th annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD), a movement of the ecumenical Christian community and its recognized partners and allies. It begins the evening of Friday, March 23 and concludes Monday, March 26, 2012 in Washington, D.C. This year’s focus is on poverty, hunger, and unemployment throughout the world - heeding Isaiah's call to become "repairers of the breach and restorers of streets to live in." The purpose of EAD is to equip faith leaders to be effective legislative and community advocates. It culminates with a day of lobbying members of the U.S. House and Senate on Capitol Hill. This is an excellent opportunity for Unitarian Universalists to gain insights, skills, and to form alliances with like-minded faith leaders and advocates. To learn more and to register go to http://advocacydays.org. To connect with other UUs, contact Rev. Craig Roshaven, UUA Witness Ministries Director at email@example.com.
March Congregational Justice Bulletin features information and resources for congregations on:
- Congregational Best Practice: New Orleans Congregations Take Lead with Local Interfaith Worker Justice
- Ecumenical Advocacy Days - March 26
- Immigration Resources for the whole congregation
- 30 Days of Love Roundup
- Bennett Award for Social Justice Nominations Due March 15
- UUSC Justice Sunday - March 25
- Earth Day - April 22
Bennett Award for Congregational Action on Human Justice and Social Action: It’s not too late to nominate your congregation for the Bennett Award! Accepting nominations through March 15! The Bennett Award for Congregational Action on Human Justice and Social Action, instituted in 1999 by James Bennett to honor the congregation that has done exemplary work in social justice, is accompanied by a $500 cash award that is presented at General Assembly. Learn more online!
As always, please let us know what your congregation is doing. We can help you with your programs and we would love to feature your best practices!
Audra, Craig, Dan, Jessica, Kat, Meredith, Schuyler, Susan, and Taquiena
UUA Witness Ministries Team
See www.uua.org/justice for resources, campaign stories, and more!