Resources for UU Congregations
Key Social Justice connections:
Interfaith Impact of New York State
UUA Social Justice homepage
UU Social Justice organizations
FAITH WORKS: A UU
In the words of the
early 19th century theologian Hosea Ballou:
"There is one inevitable
criterion of judgment touching religious faith in doctrinal matters, can
you reduce it to practice? If not, have none of it."
action for justice are a seamless garment. Action flows organically from
a spirituality of thanksgiving for being. It is a natural consequence of
who we are and the nature of our religious convictions. Faith and
action are part of the same motion.
While ours is a non-creedal
faith, we are united in the belief that we create life meanings in the
very struggle for justice in the community. We seek to become a
"spiritual center with a civic circumference” in the words of UU prophet
James Luther Adams. The holy for us emerges from engagement in the
search for Beloved Community.
Ultimately we are
joined by a mystical oneness that has informed all the prophets of
humanity — an interdependent web of being in which “thou shalt love thy
neighbor as thyself because thy neighbor is thyself.” (David Rhys
How Faith Works in the St. Lawrence District
The Social Justice Council (SJC) of the St.
Lawrence Unitarian Universalist District (SLUUD) was authorized by the
2005 District Assembly to support the work of justice-making within and
among Unitarian Universalist congregations in the district. Its mission
is to make the collective voice of Unitarian Universalists heard in the
The purposes of SJC are:
connect our congregations and their representatives. Websites and
list serves will be created to share information, events and actions.
Issue-oriented groups will be facilitated.
serve our congregations and their representatives by providing them
with information and education. This will be done through an annual
social justice conference, denominational training events and worship
grow our congregations both spiritually and socially to insure our
collective voice is heard more loudly and clearly on issues of
SJC is composed of seven members and a part-time
Social Justice Coordinator to facilitate the work of the districts and
the congregations. The Council provides consultative services, posts to
the SLUUD website, publishes the “Agenda for Change” newsletter
approximately monthly, connects UU’s to social justice resources and
sponsors an annual social justice conference, “Be the Change You Want to
See in the World” October 20, 2007, at May Memorial Unitarian
Universalist Society of Syracuse.
SJC is a member of and works closely with
Interfaith Impact of New York State (IINYS),
www.interfaithimpactnys.org a progressive coalition of Protestants,
Reform Jews, Unitarian Universalists and others who share our vision of
progressive religion in the public square. SJC works with other UU
social justice programs, including the Unitarian Universalist
Association, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and other
Specifically, it is the goal of the SJC to create
a Social Justice Network (SJN) among the district congregations. SJC
will coordinate communications among congregations and individuals. It
is hoped that there will be a social justice program in every
congregation in the district. SJC stands ready to consult with
individual congregations and clusters to hone organizational skills.
There is a renewed focus on advocacy in the
district. The District Executive, Tom Chulak, will be empowered to
speak on behalf of the St. Lawrence District. The Council will be
guided by the official social witness statements of the Unitarian
Universalist Association. While many of our congregations have programs
in social service and education, it is hoped that there will be
increased emphasis on social witness, advocacy and community
organizing. The foci of social justice work will be at the local, state
and national levels.
Richard S. Gilbert, Social Justice Coordinator