Our Social Justice focus helps us live into the Seven Principles...
by finding ways to engage in democratic processes
to honor every person with dignity,
to help further the work of creating a world
community with peace, justice and liberty for all,
and so much more.
Bethlehem Inn Dinners
Since 2008, UUFCO has - once every month - prepared a full meal for the residents of the Bethlehem Inn, Central Oregon's largest homeless shelter. Since the Bethlehem Inn is a converted motel without a central kitchen facility, the meal is prepared offsite by volunteers who choose the portion they'd like to prepare or purchase: turkey meat loaf, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, cupcakes, or milk. The food is then delivered to the Inn warm, and served by other UUFCO volunteers. The residents of the Inn are always deeply appreciative of the food shared with them - healthy and prepared with love and kindness.
Make a Difference in a Child’s Life
You can make a difference in a child’s life by tutoring one-on-one, Tuesdays from 4-5pm, with the new Wildcat Wizards Tutoring Program at Juniper Elementary School in NE Bend. Most tutors and substitutes are UU’s.
The school is already seeing some positive changes with student achievements in just over 2 months since the program started. Children are waiting to be matched with new tutors.
In just a few hours over the school year, you can help a child who is referred to the program by their teacher for math, or reading, or both.
If once a week is not the right commitment for you right now, consider being a tutor substitute, backing up tutors when they can’t be there. We hope substitutes can be available at least 5 times over the school year.
Training is provided by the school.
Greater Community Collection
Since 2006, UUFCO’s monthly Greater Community Collections (GCC) have been a way for our fellowship to reach out to others and learn more the about needs in our community. We base our giving on the seven UU Principles, and recipients must be a non-profit organization and non-discriminatory provider of services. We have placed emphasis on selecting smaller organizations where $500-$1,000 would make a significant impact for the organization.
Some of the community organizations we have given to in the past include: Planned Parenthood, Bethlehem Inn, Central Oregon Veterans Ranch, Family Access Network(FAN) and UUSC Guest at Your Table.
In May, our GCC recipient is CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates. Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA’s, provide a powerful voice for abused and neglected children. Today, more than 300 children live in foster care in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties. In an overburdened system, these children risk slipping through the cracks and suffering from further abuse. CASA volunteers have the power to prevent this tragic reality. These dedicated, highly-trained community members serve as fact finders for the judge by researching the background of each assigned case. They speak for the child in the courtroom, representing the child’s best interests, and work to move the child as quickly and effectively as possible through the system and into a safe, permanent home.
Past GCC Recipients
April’s GCC was received on April 24th for Read It! Read It! The congregation’s amazing generosity was expressed in the sum of $848.87.
Many thanks to all who express a commitment to supporting our community through your generous GCC offerings.
Project GRACE: "Lea(r)ning to Action"
About the Social Justice Advisory Team
The Social Justice Advisory Team has the responsibility to guide and support the UUFCO Social Justice Program, authorizing, empowering, affirming and promoting issue teams* who work independently on Social Justice issues. It is composed of at least four volunteers committed to regular attendance. There will be a minimum of three meetings per year to develop necessary policies, procedures and/or projects. It is an open team and any interested person may participate. Decisions will be reached by either consensus or vote of those present. A team member designated as "contact person" will facilitate Advisory Team communications.
Advisory Team members as of the last few meetings are: Aldine Thornton, contact person; Joe Maier, recorder; Sue Wilhelm, SJ e-mail list; Sy Migdal, Anita Elliot, and Chela Sloper.
* The current active Issue Teams are:
- Bethlehem Inn Dinners (Tom O’Brien & Leslie Koc)
- Environmental Sustainability/Global Warming (Alice Elshoff)
- Move to Amend (Chela Sloper)
- Oregon Health Care For All (Charles Campbell)
- Building Common Ground (Wilma Campbell)
- Greater Community Collections team (Ken Wilhelm, Anita and Carl Elliot).
Escalating Inequality: Study & Action Issue
UUFCO is embracing the call from the Unitarian Universalist Association to engage in a multi-year program on the expanding gap in income, well-being and opportunity in the United States. Over the next two years, UUFCO will approach this issue through education, reflection and action. This effort will reach across a variety of UUFCO programs, including Sunday Services, Adult RE and Children’s RE. It will include multiple alternative forums: Sunday Services, lectures/panels, large discussion groups, small discussion groups, movies/videos, books/articles.
Visit the Escalating Inequality display table in Pete Seeger Gathering Hall calling attention to upcoming UUFCO activities, related community activities, and ways to become better informed on the topic, including book and article recommendations.
Annual and Special Social Justice Opportunities:
We encourage our members and friends to take part in peace and justice events whenever, wherever possible. For the past several years, UUFCO has been involved in the following events, and others:
- Project Connect: a regional services faire providing much needed assistance to the homeless and underserved population
- Central Oregon Pride: our regional LGBTQ-affirming event sponsored by Human Dignity Coalition
Additional Social Justice Information: