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The Social Justice Committee
SJC Recommended Links
Brockton Interfaith - Brockton Interfaith Community (BIC)
Equal Exchange - delicious fairly traded, organic products!
International Day of Peace - September 21, annually
Raise Up Massachusetts - working to get earned sick time & a higher min wage on the ballot in 2014
Standing on the Side of Love - campaign promoting respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
UU Mass Action - We believe that our faith calls us to change the world.
Unitarian Universalist Association - We are Unitarian Universalists. We are brave, curious, and compassionate thinkers and doers.
Helping the Hungry
Our Social Justice Committee collects non-perishable food items for the local food pantry. We invite you to help the hungry in our local area by bringing canned and packaged foods on the first Sunday of each month. A box is placed at the front of the sanctuary, near the piano, to receive the items, which the Social Justice Committee members gather and bring to our local food pantry.
Feeding the Homeless*
Our church volunteers provide lunches for MainSpring House shelter for the homeless in Brockton. We gather on the first Monday* of each month at 9 a.m. in the lower parish hall to prepare and wrap 100 bag lunches, which are then brought to the shelter by one or two of our volunteers. You can help in many ways, including joining us at the above gatherings, donating baked goods, other food items, and paper goods as needed, taking home some of the fixings and preparing parts of the lunches (such as tuna or egg salad) at home for the volunteers to assemble at the church, or simply donating money toward the cost of the lunches, which is about $100 per month for 100 lunches.
Please contact Betty Gilson for further information, or just drop by that morning to help. *The lunches are prepared on Mondays to be eaten on the first Tuesday of each month. If the first Tuesday falls on the first day of the month, the lunches are made on the final Monday of the previous month.
The UUSC Coffee Project
In the world, coffee is one of the most heavily traded commodities. Coffee links our communities to farming communities in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Our participation in this project helps small farmers earn a fair price for their products and have access to affordable credit. We buy and serve Equal Exchange (EE) Fairly Traded shade grown coffee during our social hour every Sunday. The Social Justice committee is also selling this gourmet organically grown coffee for your home or office use. If you would like to purchase some beans or other fairly trade EE items such as cocoa, tea or olive oil please contact Janet Dye (email@example.com). More information can be found in the Parish Hall. Please support this effort and buy yourself some beans, tea or cocoa and a cup of justice!!!
SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT 2013 - 2014
The Social Justice Committee (SJC) is the supporting committee for the many social action branches that are active at First Parish, but it continues to organize and conduct various activities separate from the Green Sanctuary, First Principle Project, Peace Vigil and Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry Committees.
- A major responsibility of the SJC is selecting the bi-monthly charities which receive 50% of the loose plate collection at the Sunday worship services. The congregation has been very generous in supporting the groups. The charities since September 2013 have been the following.
- Sept. & Oct. - School on Wheels
- Nov. & Dec. - The Bridge Center in Bridgewater
- Jan. & Feb.- The Read to Succeed program of BAMSI
- March & April - Kids to Camp
- May & June - Brockton Interfaith Community
Parishioners are welcome to make suggestions to the committee for future selections. They should be charities in the area which support causes compatible with our principles.
- One of the chief SJC activities is the monthly preparation of 100 lunches for MainSpring House for the first Tuesday of each month. A great group of volunteers assembles and delivers these lunches to MainSpring House Homeless Shelter in Brockton. Besides these faithful workers, we depend on donations from congregants, especially Frank Yeatman and Eileen Hiney, who donate almost almost monthly; and also Bobbe Anderson, Louella Mann, Susan Irish and Laurie Lessner.
- Parishioners are invited to make donations of non-perishable food and other essential home items for the Bridgewater Food Pantry at the service on the first Sunday of the month. Items can be left at the front of the sanctuary near the piano. A member of the SJC delivers these to the pantry at the Central Square Congregational Church.
- The church supports the use of fair trade items and uses Equal Exchange coffee and other products at our functions. Janet Dye manages this program and is happy to order EE coffee for anyone in the church. Any profit from the sale supports the SJC activities.
- We continue to hold a National Coming Out Day Pot Luck in conjunction with the GLBTA Office at Bridgewater State University. We plan a program for the evening with Lee Forest, the director, who is a member of a UU Church. This event is an opportunity for GLBT students to tell their stories in a supportive setting. We would like to grow this connection. If you are interested in working on this, contact Betty Gilson.
- In April six members of the church attended a huge rally on Boston Common for Jobs not Jails: Karen Cruz, Betty Gilson, Laurie Lessner, Shara Yabroudy, Angela Sheble and Rachel Tedesco. They were one of several groups riding on one of the buses arranged by the Brockton Interfaith Community (BIC).
- For several years members of First Parish have attended the UU Mass Action Advocacy Day in Boston which always includes a trip to the State House to visit legislators and advocate for important issues. This year Karen Cruz, Joanne Giannino, Betty Gilson and Rachel Tedesco were at Arlington Street UU Church for the breakfast and the advocacy program following. The issues addresses at the meeting and with the legislators were: Raise the Minimum Wage, Create Jobs not Jails, and Support Immigration Reform. At the State House we delivered cupcakes to our senators and representatives celebrating the tenth anniversary of Marriage Equality, one of the original UU Mass Action projects.
- During the past few months Karen, Joanne and Rachel were very active in collecting signature on petitions for Raising the Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave. At the Advocacy Day program they were recognized as having collected the most signatures of any UU church group in Massachusetts. They will again be collecting signatures for the next round to get these issue on the November ballot. They are working on this project also under the direction of the BIC.
New members and suggestions for social action are always welcome. Contact any member of the group with your ideas.
Vernon Domingo, Janet Dye, Frankie Finnegan, Joanne Giannino, Betty Gilson, James Hayes-Bohanan, Susan Holton, David Page, Angela Sheble