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SJC - Past Events
FP Bridgewater at the Boston Pride Parade
The House I Live In Screening & Community Discussion
Wednesday, March 26, 7:00 pm with light refreshments beginning at 6:30
Members and friend of First Parish Bridgewater shared a viewing of The House I Live In, a thoughtful video about mass incarceration and its repercussions in society. First Parish invited the community -- especially people in law enforcement, public service, and social agencies, as well as students over 18 -- to view this one-hour film. The viewing was followed by a discussion of ways to address the problems of mass incarceration. Among the discussion leaders were Jack Cole, the founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), who speaks frequently about the War on Drugs, prison reform, and related concerns. The event was very well attended and proved to be an eye-opening evening for many.
Standing on the Side of Love; Stopping the 3-Strikes Bill
Rev. Peter Morales
On Wednesday, February 10, 2011, our former Parish Minister Rev. Ed Hardy joined with Rev. Peter Morales, President of the UUA; Jesse Jaeger, Executive Director of the UU Mass Action; and other UU clergy at UUA Headquarters at 25 Beacon Street to oppose a strict mandatory minimum prison sentence bill. This bill, called the 3-Strikes Bill, would require long prison sentences after three convictions, even for nonviolent drug possession. If passed, this broad-sweeping bill would particularly impact poor and minority people.
The February 10 press conference preceding a Statehouse visit is posted on the UU Mass Action website. In the video you'll see a picture of Rev. Ed standing with this distinguished UU group.
On Thursday morning, March 15, Community Minister Rev. Rachel Tedesco went to the Statehouse for a rally to "Stop the 3-Strikes Bill." Many groups, including UU Mass Action, answered the call of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston and the Boston Ten Point Coalition to come to the Statehouse.
A very racially and economically diverse crowd gathered at 11 a.m. Rev. Rachel saw other UUs there as well as several people from the Coalition for Social Justice/Coalition Against Poverty from SE Mass. As the crowd of approximately 400 stood on the steps and sidewalk in front of the Statehouse, several people spoke, including members of the clergy, politicians, and a former prisoner. Rev. Dan King of the Kingston UU church gave a brief, but impassioned speech. Rev. Rachel held a large "Stop 3-Strikes" banner from UU Mass Action with Beth McGregor, a former BCD UUA Trustee, during the rally.
After the rally, several people went into the Statehouse to lobby their legislators urging them to defeat this portion of a larger prison reform bill.
WE WANT MORE FROM OUR S'MORES!
Members of First Parish joined parishioners in many U U churches across the country to send a message to Hershey's to stop buying cocoa beans from plantations using slave and child labor. During our Labor Day Sunday work service, we enjoyed S'Mores prepared in the church kitchen with fair trade chocolate. Working with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and other concerned organizations we are sending a message to Hershey's to honor its agreement to abstain from these labor practices.
Social Justice Committee Receives $500 Award
Betty Gilson receives a check for $500.00 for the Social Justice Committee from Robert Bower, president of the Professional Staff Association of Rhode Island College, as part of an award for Employee of the Year Linda Kent Davis.
Linda Kent Davis, a friend of First Parish, on Oct. 28, 2010, was honored as Employee of the Year by the Professional Staff Association at Rhode Island College in Providence. As part of the award a $500.00 donation was presented in Linda's name to the Social Justice Committee at First Parish for its work with the homeless. Our congratulations to Linda for her recognition and our heartfelt thanks to her for remembering the work of the SJC. Father Bill's / MainSpring House has recently opened a new apartment building at 26 Spring Street in Brockton for homeless citizens including veterans. They are currently seeking funds for continued maintenance of this building. The SJC has decided to give half of the donation to this project.