WUUC’s Advocates for Social Justice (ASJ) Coordinating Council and its member ministries work to encourage, support, and coordinate individual and congregational work for human rights, social justice, and environmental responsibility in our local, national, and global communities. The congregation strives to integrate social justice education, service, and advocacy in our worship services and religious education programs in accord with UU principles and the long tradition of justice work in the Unitarian and Universalist faith traditions. Membership in WUUC’s justice ministries is an open to all members and friends of WUUC. For more information, contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WUUC is congregational member of JUUstice Washington, the UU state action network for Washington State. WUUC annually supports the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee as well as denominational justice efforts. The ASJ Coordinating Council sponsors one worship service plate collection every month. The proceeds are donated to a charitable organization or justice advocacy group, with an emphasis on local organizations.
Individual members and friends of WUUC are active in a wide variety of social justice education, service, and advocacy efforts. We honor these individual commitments to engage in social and environmental justice work.
ASJ Coordinating Council
Justice work at WUUC is organized around several ASJ justice ministries and each justice ministry is represented on the ASJ Coordinating Council. The ASJ Coordinating Council helps avoid conflicts in the timing of justice activities at WUUC, allocates funds to the ASJ justice ministries, organizes the monthly ASJ plate collections during the worship service, and organizes an annual Justice Fair to attract new participants to the justice ministries.
ASJ Climate Justice Ministry
The Climate Justice Ministry actively provides information on climate issues to the congregation, organizes climate justice events, and develops opportunities for WUUC members and friends to participate in climate justice advocacy and service projects. This ministry has hosted speakers from the UU Ministry for Earth and supported UUMFE’s events at the 2019 UUA General Assembly in Spokane. Each month, the Climate Justice Ministry provides Notes 4 Earth in the WUUC newsletter with information, testimonials, and suggestions for reducing our carbon footprints.
ASJ Criminal Justice Ministry
The Criminal Justice Ministry is in the process of identifying education, program, and service options regarding criminal justice reforms for WUUC members. Past activities include workshops on The New Jim Crow and petitioning decriminalization of marijuana consumption.
ASJ Economic Justice Ministry
WUUC is involved in several ongoing community service projects. Most focus on hunger issues including collections for the Maltby Food Bank, Totes-to-Go (for needy students at two local schools), emergency food supplies through Hopelink, and food packing for Northwest Harvest from time to time. This ministry also organizes WUUC members and friends to cook and serve a meal each month for the residents of Camp Unity Eastside. We also occasionally organize a giving tree for area children in need.
ASJ Racial Justice Ministry
The Racial Justice Ministry organizes ongoing and occasional programs of education and engagement in racial justice issues.
In 2016, WUUC passed a resolution in support of movements for Black lives. In 2018, the Board of Trustees approved steps to implement this resolution including a wide variety of on-going programs, book discussion groups, and creation of a fund to aid black students and families in nearby school districts. The BSAFF (besafe) fund is financed through a plate collection each year and by pledges received at the time of that plate collection.
ASJ Welcoming Congregation Justice Ministry
WUUC has been a Welcoming Congregation since a unanimous congregational vote was taken in 1998 to be a part of this national Unitarian Universalist Association’s Welcoming Congregation program. Each Welcoming Congregation commits to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for people who identify as GLBTQI+. In 2013, our congregation publicly declared our support for Referendum 74 (defending Freedom to Marry legislation in Washington State). We posted signs of our support on our grounds and ran full-color advertisements in the local newspaper (with help from a UUA “Standing on the Side of Love” project grant), participated in advocacy actions, hosted a phone bank, and then worshipped and celebrated together when voters approved the Referendum.
The reconstituted Welcoming Congregation Justice Ministry has been actively involved in several worship services each year at WUUC. Recently this ministry dedicated a Progress Pride flag that is displayed on the church building, helped sponsor workshops on welcoming congregation practices, and purchased the Transforming Hearts video workshop videos for use at WUUC. In September 2019, the Welcoming Congregation Justice Ministry co-sponsored a Radical Inclusive Welcome workshop, presented by UU religious educator CB Beal. The workshop drew participants from both WUUC and the Kirkland UU Church. The Welcoming Congregation Justice Ministry works each year to qualify WUUC for recertification as a UUA Welcoming Congregation.
Related WUUC Activities and Potential New Justice Ministries
For nearly 20 years, WUUC has been an active partner with other churches in the Cottage Lake area as a sponsor and organizer of blood drives. Once every 6 weeks, a local congregation volunteers to host a blood drive in support of the local blood bank.
Each year, the WUUC Justice Fair offers an opportunity for new justice ministries to form. With the help of new volunteers, potential new justice ministries may be formed in the areas of immigration justice, first American Indian Nations collaboration, and voter registration.