Social Justice at First UU
Why is social justice important?
The sixth principle of our faith states that we affirm and covenant to work towards the goal of a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all people. Simply put, we are called to work towards a better world.
What kinds of social justice programs does First UU undertake?
The church’s social justice activities generally fall into four categories: education, direct service, public witness, or social action.
The aim of First UU’s various educational efforts is to teach members and friends of the church, and often the general public, about some important social justice issue. The format of such a program may be a film, a roundtable discussion, a church service with an invited guest speaker, a class, a workshop, a public forum, or an entire conference. No matter what form the activity takes, the overall purpose is the same-to raise awareness, to inform, and sometimes to build specific skills.
2. Direct Service.
The purpose of direct service programs is to fill an immediate need for a specific group of people. Examples of direct service activities include our participation in the city-wide CARITAS program in which we share the responsibility for sheltering homeless people in the winter by hosting a group in our basement for one week; our Mitten Tree holiday gift drive for the residents of Parkwood, a home near the church for low-income individuals; and our periodic financial and food donations to local food distribution centers, which coordinate the collection and distribution of food to the hungry throughout Greater Richmond.
3. Public Witness.
The intent of public witness activities is to make a public statement on an important social justice issue, both to inform others about what we as a church value and to grow personally from the experience of speaking out and taking a public position on something that matters.
4. Social Action.
The point of social action is to change public policy or otherwise bring about systemic change with respect to a particular social justice issue.
How can I get involved in social justice work at First UU?
The best way to know what we are involved in is to attend services on Sunday morning.