SocialJustice

Social Justice

Social Justice Groups -- First Unitarian Church of Portland


 Rev. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Social Justice Minister, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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First Unitarian Church of Portland has been a voice for liberal religion in our     community for over 130 years. Our core beliefs about spiritual growth and acting for social justice are reflected in many ways, including our sermons, music and religious education classes. The Social Justice Council, however, is specifically charged with leading the social justice efforts of the congregation. This council is comprised of the leaders of each social justice group (listed below), plus three officers and the Social Justice Minister. Collectively the aim of this governing body is to inspire, educate and mobilize people to build a more democratic, peaceful, equitable and life-sustaining world.

 

Social Justice Council
This council comprised of the leaders of each social justice group, plus three officers and the Social Justice Minister, is charged with overseeing and implementing the social justice mission of First Church.  Executive Team: Corey Cliffe, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. m  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    
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Beloved Conversation
As our congregation actively works to be more racially and ethnically diverse, we are providing ongoing opportunities to grow in skill and understanding and to learn.  We offer intensive classes throughout the year, including 8-week classes, one-day workshops, and cultural events.  We also offer a Beloved Conversation class each year to build the multicultural competency of our church leaders, members and staff.  Contact Rev. Kate Lore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Committee on Hunger and Homelessness (COHHO) 
This group provides outreach, support and advocacy for homeless and hungry persons in our community. Activities include supporting Thirteen Salmon Family Center, our church’s special ministry for homeless families, and other organizations with similar missions.  Current activities include work with Clay Street Table, Meals on Wheels and the Family Winter Shelter.  The group also seeks to educate our church about the growing homelessness and hunger crises. COHHO meets on the third Sunday of each month after the second service.  Contact:  Linda Craig: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

>>Habitat for Humanity Team
This team provide ongoing volunteer opportunities on local Habitat for Humanity Projects.
Contact: Evie Zaic, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  ,503-635-3226

>>Thirteen Salmon Family Center,
housed at 1st Unitarian, is operated by Portland Homeless Family Solutions (PHFS) and supported by COHHO.  PHFS operates Thirteen Salmon as a day center at 1st Unitarian Church and the Goose Hollow Family (night) Shelter at 1st United Methodist Church.  Both shelters operate year round. Volunteers are always needed. Call 503-915-8307 if you have questions about volunteering with us.

>>Outside In
Mission Statement: To help homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self –sufficiency.
Outside In is a service organization with historic ties to the First Unitarian Church of Portland.First Church has had a long history of involvement with social justice issues in Portland. When it was discovered that the arsonist responsible for the fire that all but destroyed the Church sanctuary on a July night in 1965 was a young transient, it was not out of the ordinary that his story should motivate members of the church to turn their attention to the growing problems facing the disenfranchised members of our community. Thus the Charix coffeehouse was established. Located in the "undercroft," the space below the sanctuary of what we now know as the Eliot Chapel, it quickly became a popular gathering place for many of the young people who had "dropped out of society."  Doctors in the congregation soon recognized the growing need for health care for these teenagers.  With locally raised money, they began providing medical services for those in need.  Outside In was the result of their efforts.

With this small beginning Outside In has grown into a well-respected  organization that provides services for more than 10,000 people each year. We, as a church, can take pride in our involvement in it's founding. This is an important part of our history and, because of the growth of the church in recent years, it is important to be reminded of these connections. For more information about Outside In’s programs and their impact on the community, visit www.OutsideIn.org.

Community for Earth  
Based on the Seventh Principle, this group strives to connect our spiritual community to the sacred earth and inspire personal and congregational change through deeds, commitment to education and faith in our ability to change the world for ourselves and our children. Meetings occur regularly during the church year on the fourth Sunday of each month. Community for Earth, meets monthly every fourth Sunday, 9:00 -10:30 a.m, B310. Contact Chris Abernathy, 503-246-2877.

Cuba AyUUda
This group holds a religious activities license providing legal travel to Cuba for those affiliated with First Unitarian Church. The purpose of these trips is to share Unitarian Universalism, foster citizen diplomacy, create and maintain friendships, bring much needed supplies to Cubans, and keep the struggles of the Cuban people on the radar screen for U.S. Americans. Contact: Woesha Hampson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Visit our new Cuba AyUUda website, too!

Economic Justice Action Group
The Economic Justice Action Group promotes fair and just economic policies and practices for all citizens. Current issues include economic globalization, the balance of economic and corporate power, and preservation of our democratic process. Activities are both church- and community-based and include: education and research, publication, direct action, and work for campaign finance reform. Contacts: Michael Wade, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , David Delk, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Marcia Meyers, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

>>The Real Wealth of Portland Project is a project of EJAG that works to nurture a “Caring Economics”. It works to help Portland recognize the economic value of justice, equity and environmental sustainability by promoting use of credit unions, local banks and environmental sustainability. Contact Jared Gardner -   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

First Share
Fosters congregants supporting each other with their resources, skills and time by encouraging a culture of sharing. Our aim is for our Church to become a more resilient community and resource in our city. To get involved, contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Henry Amick, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Read Our Monthly First Share Newsletter

Mental Health Action Group
The work done by the Mental Health Action Group is a response to the calling of the first principle of Unitarian Universalism: to affirm and promote “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” Our mission is To promote awareness and understanding of mental health issues across the lifespan within the church and community. Contact:Rosemary Kirwin[Alvord, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , (503-645-8227).

The New Jim Crow - Healing the Justice System
This fairly new group formed as a response to Michelle Alexander's best-selling book: "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness".  Group members organize public forums and political advocacy efforts to address in racially unjust aspects of our Justice System.  Contact: Terri Martin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Carol Witherall, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Peace Action Group
The Peace Action Group brings information and events to the attention of church members in support of our Sixth Principle, “peace and justice in the world community.” The recent focus of Peace Action has been on the war in Iraq and related issues. In addition to a monthly work meeting, a potluck is held one Saturday each month.
Contacts: Tess Beistel, tess@ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 503-257-2042 Henry Herring This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 503-342-0021

>>UUs for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME) is a subgroup of the Peace Action Group and works within the Unitarian Universalist community to promote peace and justice in Israel-Palestine, including a settlement of the conflict affirming the equality, dignity,freedom and security of all peoples involved. Contact:  Curt Bell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     

Unitarian "Quilts of Love" Group
Meets monthly at the church with the purpose of making quilts for families served by Portland Homeless Family Solutions, as they transition from the shelter to a permanent home. Seeks people who enjoy quilting or sewing, but welcomes those who want to assist in another way such as ironing or cutting fabrics. Much of the sewing will be done by individuals on their own time at home. This group builds inter-generational community among those of us who love to sew. Contact: Anna Thorn, 503-720-1984. 

Unitarian Pride
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) Group of First Church, a “Welcoming Congregation.” The mission of this group is to provide outreach to LGBT and questioning youth and adults, and to be a visible presence at coffee hour. Group members organize social activities—both within the congregation and in the greater community—to help LGBT members connect with one another. Contact: Scott Winters, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UU Animal Ministry
The mission of this group is to promote understanding and awareness of animals as fellow sentient beings in line with the 7th UU Principle, and provide ministry, education, and support to interested members, and to the church community as a whole.  Contact: Stephen Storla, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UU Global AIDS Coalition 
Provides education and action options to address the global AIDS epidemic, and also raises funds to support AIDS orphans in Kenya. Contacts: Ann Pikar,  

UU Service Committee (UUSC)
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee is the human rights arm of our movement. UUSC works to advance justice worldwide by combining human rights education and advocacy in the United States with direct support for grassroots initiatives. Opportunities abound. Join us and help sow the seeds of change. Contacts: Helena Lee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 

For more information about the Social Justice Programs click here.

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