Action Steps for Forming a Congregational Community Partnership

Members of the First Unitarian Church in Oakland, CA take part in the Occupy Oakland general strike.

Rev. Jacqueline Duhart, Assistant Minister of Community Engagement for First Unitarian Church of Oakland, CA with members of the congregation.
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  1. Congregational leaders begin looking to focus their social justice ministries from many scattered projects towards a more unified and effective approach.
  2. The leaders speak with their ministers about establishing partnerships with local community organizations as the heart of the congregation’s social justice ministry.
  3. Discussions are held with two community organizations around their interest in forming a partnership.
  4. Leaders begin to communicate and seek support from within the congregation to gauge interest and create buy-in around developing partnerships (through sermons, articles, meetings, individual conversations, etc.).
  5. The congregation holds a Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA): Social Justice Empowerment Workshop that helps the congregation reflect and focus its vision for social justice.
  6. The congregation votes on and chooses a community partner that fits the mission, spirit and capacities of their social justice ministry.
  7. The chosen community organization is invited to hold a workshop for the congregation to introduce themselves more fully and discuss concrete ways for cooperation.
  8. Internal structures and leadership roles related to the partnership are designated and defined within the congregation to ensure a consistent and enduring ministry.
  9. Congregation and community partner begin their work together around identified community needs engaging in action and reflection.
  10. The congregation is kept informed and engaged in the social justice ministry, celebrating the accomplishments achieved through the partnership.

Read our Congregational Best Practice: First Unitarian Church of Oakland Partners with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights for a narrative account of one congregation's community partnership.