Pictured (left to right): Ben Jaeger, Amy Crawford, Meg Reid, Elisabeth Grobel, Karen Kingsley, Deb Soulen, Charmagne Campbell Patton, Joy Throm, Taylor Putz, Rev. Justin Schroeder, Cindy Marsh, Peg Mitchell, Matt Kresl, Marjorie Herdes, Hal Schroer, Joan Naymark. Not in photo: Brian Eshult, Sharon Ramirez, Margot Isman, Sarah Sheehan.
Faithful Action Council
The Faithful Action Council, formed in summer 2015, shares in supporting, guiding, and enabling our ministry of faithful action. Together with the Racial Justice Leadership Team, the Board of Trustees, the ministers, and the congregation, the Faithful Action Council sets the direction of the faithful action ministries of our church, balancing our efforts for systemic change and serving immediate needs. The Faithful Action Council ensures that our guiding principles of racial justice and faithful action guide all that we do.
The council meets six times a year. Meeting summaries can be found below, after each meeting takes place.
September 29, 2015
October 27, 2015
January 11, 2016
April 14, 2016
June 6, 2016
August 23, 2016
September 27, 2016
October 25, 2016
November 22, 2016
• Setting Goals (In one year, we will have begun/completed…)
• Training and toolkit (development, roll-out, support, reflection, and evaluation)
• Responding to Immediate Needs or providing Immediate Witness
• 5-6 Meetings per year, and subgroup working sessions
* require subgroup leadership for consistency and impact across all of the faithful action work streams.
– Minister, also serves as co-chair
– At large members
Council members include representatives from:
– The Board of Trustees – for linkage
– The First Universalist Foundation – for coordination of efforts
– The Racial Justice Leadership Team
– The lay leadership of each partnership
– The advocacy coordinators for our major focus areas (housing, environment, racial justice)
– An active liaison to MUUSJA
Prospective council members complete an application, and to the best of our ability, the council will consist of people of a variety of ages, genders, family structures, and colors. Council members commit to a 2 year term of service, with the option to re-apply for additional terms. The group consists of 12-15 members and the co-chairs select council members. New council members are selected every other year.
Guiding Principles of Racial Justice
• We are choosing to focus on the social construct of race. Racism is a fundamental component of every social and environmental justice issue.
• Racism exists when a dominant group with institutional and cultural power denies and extracts resources from a non-dominant group.
• Racism is morally incompatible with our faith.
Guiding Principles of Faithful Action Ministry
• Racial justice is primary in all that we do. All of our faithful action efforts will be implemented and evaluated through a racial justice lens.
• We work through partnerships.
• We learn from the lived experiences of people of different backgrounds.
• We support our volunteers in understanding their experiences through the lens of race, racism and whiteness. We support our volunteers in leadership development and spiritual growth.
• We engage with stakeholders and make room for stakeholder leadership (i.e. the people that we serve or partner with).
• We achieve a balance between advocacy/systems change and attending to immediate needs.
• We balance our desire for focus and consistency with our desire to be responsive and nimble.
• We provide transparent, clear, ongoing communication with the congregation, faithful action teams/groups and with our partners and community stakeholders.
• We evaluate our effectiveness and we celebrate.
• We encourage opportunities for the whole church to be involved across ages and abilities.
• We connect all efforts to Unitarian Universalism and our faith. We are clear about how our efforts are rooted in our faith and explore how they inform our spiritual journey.