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Congregational Justice FAQ

It is our privilege to work with amazing Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) colleagues to bring you all the best wisdom we can about how your congregation can be an effective, credible, accountable community engaged in justice-making.

Below are the top ten questions we’re most asked, with links to some of our favorite resources.

Please feel free to contact us for further information at socialjustice @ uua.org

Issues

  • What is the UUA doing about (fill in the blank with your favorite issue)?
    Our issue priorities are:
  • I looked at your issue priorities. Why aren’t you working on (fill in the blank with your favorite issue)?
    We use the criteria of grounding, fit, opportunity, and accountability to determine how to use our limited resources in the most effective way. For more about the process we use, and how your congregation might similarly decide how to prioritize what you do, please look at Inspired Faith, Effective Action (PDF 31, pages), a handbook on strategic planning for more effective congregational social justice.

Spirituality and Service

  • I would like to put my faith into action. Do you provide faith-based service opportunities?
    One of the most important ways of living out the seven principles is in living out the seven principles is in Service. A wide variety of opportunities exists for Unitarian Universalists to do community service grounded in spirituality and our principles. These opportunities come in many forms, countries and durations.

Acting Locally

  • I don’t even know who in my congregation would DO strategic planning! Our social justice program is a bunch of individuals who are passionate about their particular issues but no real congregational buy-in to anything! What should we do?
    Social Justice Empowerment Workshop is a weekend workshop which will help you to start, grow, and strengthen your social justice ministries. You can download the handbook.

    If a weekend workshop feels like too much, consider using the DVD and curriculum, A People So Bold, to begin deeper conversations about what it means to do social justice from a place of faithful engagement. There’s also a book by the same title which those who prefer to read might want to purchase and use as the frame of a discussion group.
     
  • We want to do something local in an interfaith way. What do you suggest?
    More than 140 of our congregations are engaged in Congregation-Based Community Organizing (CBCO) networks. These grassroots initiatives can be very effective on a local level and move you into strong relationships with a diverse group of players.

Tax Status

  • We were going to step out on (fill in the blank with your favorite issue) because there is a state ballot initiative about it. But a guy in our congregation says we’ll lose our tax status if we do. Will we?
    The Real Rules will tell you all you need to know about this! It’s a guide to IRS guidelines on congregational advocacy, lobbying, and election work.

Standing on the Side of Love

  • I just found out about the Standing on the Side of Love campaign. Wonderful. But I can’t find the materials on the UUA website! Why not?
    Standing on the Side of Love, a campaign to mobilize Unitarian Universalists (UUs) and our allies in response to identity-based violence, exclusion and oppression, has its own website. We hope this will make it more accessible and user-friendly for non-UUs who will join us in our common work.  You can purchase items with the Standing on the Side of Love logo at the online store.

Calendar

  • How do we plan for social justice in our church year? What is coming down the pike and how can we know about it?
    We put up a Social Justice Calendar with important dates, links, and resources for events such as Earth Day, Martin Luther King Day, Labor Day, etc. There’s always something going on!

General Assembly Statements

  • I was at GA last year and people were talking about (fill in issue discussed at GA). We passed some kind of statement about it in plenary. Where would I find that?
    All of our Social Justice Statements are gathered in materials describing our ongoing Social Witness Process.

Staying Connected

For more information contact socialjustice @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Thursday, December 15, 2011.

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