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 our energy, commitment and expertise. We share our resources in service of the organization’s vision.
Find the Community Partnership application here. The application deadline for 2017 was February 1.
Partnerships are selected annually; applications are due February 1. All current and proposed Partnerships are evaluated through the lens of our racial justice and faithful action principles (below). The Council strives to maintain a balance of partnerships that reflect our commitment to both systemic social change and serving immediate needs. The Faithful Action Council offers support for the partnership as it strives to meet its goals. Whenever possible, Community Partnerships should strive to involve the whole church, particularly all generations. Community Partners are eligible to apply to receive our every-other-year church-wide holiday gift as well as the Sunday offering plate.
Why do we work with partners and why is this part of our faithful action guiding principles?
- We focus our faithful action ministry for greater effectiveness and impact through alignment with other successful organizations that share First Universalist’s mission and values.
- Synergy creates mutual benefit for both organizations; there is shared learning and support.
- The development of relationships within a partner organization creates the opportunity for powerful advocacy.
- Communication in the ongoing partnership process will enable coordination and support among the faithful action partnerships at First Universalist.
- We can focus our First Universalist resources to make the most difference:
– Publicity/communications – bulletin, Liberal, Facebook
– Holiday Giving, Foundation, offering plate, special offering
– Access to volunteers
– Ministerial support
What do our Community Partnership groups receive?
Support from the Faithful Action Council: training, evaluation, and spiritual reflection tools
Support from the Church: volunteers, publicity, use of the building for events and meetings, two offering plates each year
2017–2018 Community Partners
To learn more about our Community Partners, or to get involved, please follow the links or be in touch with the leaders listed below.
Young adults who face educational barriers to achievement in traditional schools are welcomed into AFA, a charter school that prepares them for college, career and life. The 140+ students come from diverse communities, including African American, Somali, and Native American. Many are homeless or marginally housed during the school year. Through an intense program of rigorous study in a teen- and family-friendly atmosphere, the dedicated and talented staff use positive, strength-based approaches to challenge and motivate students to achieve academic success and habits of mind and body that contribute to satisfaction and wellness in their lives.
Church team lead: Cindy Marsh (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, through its Families Moving Forward program, provides temporary housing for families experiencing homelessness. Over 60 congregations in the Twin Cities rotate on a weekly basis to create shelter space at their sites, providing a safe place to sleep, meals, and the kindness and compassion of the congregation’s volunteers. Up to 16 families are provided shelter at one time through four groupings of up to four families each. Completing the circle of support, Beacon’s professional staff works closely with each family to address their unique barriers to stability so they may leave the shelter program for permanent housing. Find First Universalist’s Families Moving Forward Volunteer Sign Up Form here.
Beacon Citizens are volunteers who participate in planned activities to advance Beacon’s goal of ending homelessness. They advocate for public policies and funding that make it easier to create affordable housing and support people to end homelessness in their lives. During the 2015 Legislative Session, over 1,600 Beacon Citizens contributed statements about what “home is to them” in support of the Homes for All agenda. These messages were delivered to state legislators. As a result of the Homes for All advocacy, the Legislature increased housing and homeless services by $25.5 million. When Beacon Citizens come together, we win!
Church team lead: Peg Mitchell (email@example.com)
Unemployment in communities served by EMERGE is 21% in North Minneapolis and 40% in Cedar Riverside, compared to 6.3% overall in Minneapolis. EMERGE serves more than 3,000 clients annually. Its clients are 91% people of color, 64% live in poverty, 33% have a criminal background, 15% have no High School credentials, and 12% are immigrants or refugees.
EMERGE provides a wide range of services that include:
- Employment opportunities via its staffing agency and employment enterprises
- Employment readiness and coaching
- Adult training and credentialing programs
- Youth employment and education services
- Financial literacy education and coaching
- Transitional/supportive housing , especially families with custodial, single fathers
Church team lead: Hal Schroer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light believes the active care of creation is integral to spiritual life and social justice. MNIPL brings Minnesota’s faith communities together within the growing climate justice movement. MNIPL has mobilized interfaith support for legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota, sparked just community solar development through the Shiloh Temple Community Solar Garden Project, and provided leadership and training to hundreds of faith communities’ members across the state. Participants in the Be the Spark and Youth Be The Spark leadership programs connect their gifts and passions with the work of building a more just and sustainable world.
Church team lead: Stan Sattinger (email@example.com)
Simpson Housing Services works to house, support and advocate for people experiencing homelessness. They provide shelter services for 44 men and 22 women and help individuals and families experiencing homelessness move into stable housing through rental subsidies and supportive services. Families in their housing programs can participate in Children and Youth Services Programs designed to help break the generational cycle of poverty and homelessness. These services include, Early Childhood Development, Educational Advocacy and Mentoring and Youth Development Programs. Volunteers are major contributors to Simpson Housing Services. Over 37,000 hours were volunteered in 2014, the equivalent of 18 full-time staff.
Church team lead: Geoff Lenox (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) is an ecumenical ministry whose mission is to eliminate poverty housing from the Twin Cities and to make decent, affordable shelter for all people a matter of conscience. Each year, in partnership with donors and volunteers, TCHFH builds or repairs approximately 50 homes. Additionally, TCHFH repairs 140 homes each year through the ‘A Brush with Kindness’ program and has served more than 5,000 local homeowners through the Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program. TCHFH vision: a Twin Cities region where hard-working families can own homes in healthy neighborhoods with access to jobs, transportation, and quality schools. Find First Universalist’s Volunteer Sign Up Form here.