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On March 25, those of the congregation who are interested in Social Justice work will meet to select a new theme to center our social justice efforts for the next two years. One of the proposed themes isGovernment andCitizenship. The posting below is a synopsis of the proposed theme that will be presented in greater detail on the meeting on 3/25.

 

Social Justice Ministry Team (SJMT) – Theme Proposal

2011-2012 Church Year

 

Theme: Government and Citizenship

 

Government (from dictionary.com) –

- the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states

 

Citizenship (from dictionary.com) –

- behavior in terms of the duties, obligations, and functions of a citizen.

 

Background:

 

- In today’s world, people are struggling.

- There has been an erosion of trust that our government and elected officials are acting in the best interest of the people.

- We, the people, have the power to make a difference in our government and improve the lives of all.

- Many of us don’t know much about our government – how it works and how we can impact the process. So how do we get involved in the process? How do we make a difference?

 

The Government and Citizenship theme broadly encompasses a large array of opportunities to learn, discuss and explore our own citizenship and engagement in the governmental process. From advocacy and direct work projects to educational forums and workshops to worship services, this theme touches on all of our lives and many of the diverse passions of our congregation. Through this theme, we hope to 1) bring our congregation together to learn, explore and engage in the governmental process and 2) encourage each individual to find their voice and participate in their own way to make a difference. It starts with you.

 

Why relevant to First U?:

 

At the heart of this theme is the acknowledgement that as “Unitarian Universalists we affirm and promote:

 

* Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

* The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

* The goal of a world community with peace, liberty and justice for all;

 

 

 

Possible project ideas:

 

Advocacy:

1) Field trip to Harrisburg to meet our State and Federal Representatives and Senators

2) Identify certain bills at the State and Federal level to follow and encourage congregants to contact their legislators (e.g. Marriage Equality bills, Clean Water bills)

3) Identify significant news articles and encourage congregants to write an Op-Ed piece

4) Encourage congregants to volunteer for a Campaign as an individual

5) Organize attendance at a debate or a gathering to watch a debate

 

Direct Work:

1) Organize a Voter Registration drive

2) Volunteer at Poll centers on Election Day

3) Partner with relevant organizations as well as other UU congregations

 

Education:

1) Workshop on Social Policy and Advocacy (e.g. how to do advocacy work)

2) Workshop/Discussion on Supreme Court ruling re corporations being people

3) Workshop on HealthCare reform

4) Workshop on how to write an Op-Ed piece

5) Workshop/Discussion re Immigration laws

 

Religious Education:

1) Activity re how a bill becomes a law

2) Activity re the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

3) Fieldtrip to a State/Federal Reps office

 

Worship:

1) Worship service re “What is good citizenship?”

2) Worship service re Immigration issues

 

Measurable Goals/Objectives:

 

Through this theme, we hope to 1) bring our congregation together to learn, explore and engage in the governmental process and 2) encourage each individual to find their voice and participate in their own way to make a difference.

 

We plan to measure these goals by tracking the participation of congregants in the projects and activities. We hope that by the end of the church year, we can say that 50% of congregational members participated in some way in the Government and Citizenship social justice theme.

 

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Replies to This Community Event

Beautifully set out, Sharon. Thank you! Food for thought (and action)

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