Social JusticeWant to become involved in Social Justice? Check out what we are doing at the UUFN. UUFN Citizens Resource Kit, a handy compilation of guidelines for social justice activities. (pdf 230KB)
Newark Empowerment CenterThe Newark Empowerment Center (NEC) provides assistance to the homeless in the Newark, Delaware area. Among the ways the UUFN supports the NEC are through preparation and donation of To-Go Lunch Bags and Hygiene Kits a number of times a year by our Youth Group and by serving as one of the host sites on frigid nights in the NEC's Code Purple Sanctuary Initiative.
Hope Dining RoomThe Hope Dining Room provides hot noon meals to anyone in need (open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). Hope Dining Room is located in the Kingswood United Methodist Church in Newark. The UUFN is responsible for the meal on the fourth Thursday of each month and we also contribute financially to cover ongoing expenses. We pay for all of our own supplies when we provide a meal. If you are interested in volunteering to prepare or serve lunch (coverage is needed from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm but you won't need to be there for the entire time), or to contribute funds for purchasing food and supplies, please email our coordinator, Donna Shand, or call her at 302-252-7654.
Emmaus HouseEmmaus House provides shelter for families who are temporarily homeless. Emmaus House offers a place where a family can regroup; parents can look for work, children can go to school, and parents can look for housing. There is some furniture and furnishings available to the families when they do find permanent housing. Emmaus House is a haven in a stressful time of transition before a family's problem becomes too great. UUFN helps out primarily by offering groceries and some toiletries to Emmaus House. If you would like to donate items to Emmaus House there is a basket located in the entrance way of the main building at UUFN.
Mentoring Program at West Park Place ElementarySome UUFN members and friends are involved in the mentoring program at West Park Place Elementary. The program is called HOSTS which stands for Helping One Student To Succeed. Hosts is a nationwide mentoring program. It began in Texas and has been in Delaware for about ten years. The West Park program is in its eigth year. Anne Feurer runs the program on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1:30 to 3 pm with 1/2 hour sessions. Mentors receive a brief training session and then are matched with a student. The program is designed to help children become better readers and to grow in self esteem. Mentors never have to plan a lesson, Anne Feurer does all the lesson planning. Each child has a folder that contains lesson plans and all materials needed for the lesson. Many UU members have mentored in the program and are always welcome. Senior citizens, business people, parents of West Park students, students and staff from U of Delaware, including students involved with AmericaReads and AmeriCorps, are presently involved with the program. If there are UU members or friends that are interested in mentoring and would like more information, they may call Anne Feurer at school: 454-2290 x31054, or at home: 610-255-5124.
South AfricaOur previous minister, Greg Chute, was involved with two Community Projects in kwaZulu Natal, South Africa for several years: God's Golden Acre (a Children's Home in Cato Ridge) and Woza Moya (an Outreach Program of the Buddhist Retreat Center in Ixopo). Our Fellowship has raised funds to sponsor children, repair and build homes, and support local village educational incentives. In the past, Rev. Chute periodically led teams to South Africa to work on short term projects there.
Take a StandPROCESS FOR UUFN Social Justice Study and Action Items 1. Originate the Question/Need
Members of the fellowship will identify an issue that they would like to consider bringing to the fellowship. It is likely that the group should consist of at least three individuals, and that they plan to grow to ten or more members during the process. This working group will approach the UUFN SJSC (Social Justice Steering Committee) to learn the process, and prepare for and approach the board to request that they form a task force. Upon the board’s approval, the task force can be created. 2. Identify and Research the Issue
Members of the task force would examine the issue, collecting facts and myths. In the immediate case of discrimination based on sexual orientation, this task force may be able to obtain much of this information from the Welcoming Congregation committee. 3. Share/Educate
The task force would engages interested members of the congregation in open information meetings and workshops. Where practical, the task force will work with existing groups/committees (RE, Worship, …). These forums meetings are critically structured to be two-way interactive dialogues,compiling best thinking not asrather than lectures. This provides the task force with information as to the spectrum of feelings towards the issue amongst our congregation. The information topic and content of these meetings would be obtained from the first step.based on the results of step #1. 4. Consider/Decide
The Task Force will work with the UUFN SJSC to ‘wordsmith’ the formal proposal, which the Task Force will present to the Board. The Board will be asked to schedule it for a vote at the next congregational meeting. It is desired, but not required, that the Board vote to formally support the proposal. At a congregational meeting, the congregation will consider whether to, or not to , adopt an official stance position, statements, and/or action on the issue in question. A vote by 75% or more of present, voting members at a duly called/convened congregational meeting in favor is required for the fellowship to adopt such a position, statement and/or action. 5. Act/Follow-Through
Here the task force can manage and facilitate opportunities to share the UUFN’s stand on the issue with the public, including newspapersmedia, and elected officials. These opportunities could have been raised in the first two steps of this process. If the proposal is not accepted by 75% or more of the congregation, task force members and others are welcome to work individually or in groups to further the cause. 6. Exit Hatch
At any point in this process the Task Force may determine that they wish to cease their efforts. This could be due to a changing external environment, too limited support within the congregation as observed during public meetings or private conversations, or simply reduced energy of Task Force members. When the Task Force decides to disband, they shall notify the UUFN SJSC and the board. While in place, the Task Force should notify the UUFN SJSC (and indirectly the board) at least annually on their progress and plans.
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