Faithful Action is how we describe our justice ministry. The term “Faithful Action” recognizes that there are hundreds of ways to act faithfully as we work for a more fair and equitable world—we can advocate, write letters, learn about issues, cook and serve meals, build a home, mentor students, protest, stand in sacred witness, and so much more.
We work through partnerships…
A Community Partnership is a relationship between First Universalist Church and an organization in the community that shares our vision of love and justice. We work through Community Partnerships in order to leverage energy, commitment, and expertise. We share our resources in service of the organization’s vision.
… and with a racial justice lens.
In our work, we engage around race explicitly, but not exclusively. We focus on the social construct of race, and recognize that race, racism, and whiteness are a fundamental component of every social, economic, and environmental justice issue. We acknowledge that racism exists when a dominant group, with institutional and cultural power, denies and extracts resources from non-dominant groups. Racism is morally incompatible with our faith.
Our Faithful Action ministry is led by our Senior Minister, Rev. Justin Schroeder and the Faithful Action Council. The Council 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.
Together, we strive to embody the following principles:
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
• 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.