To see a regularly updated source of justice opportunities and events, click HERE for our Justice Hub page.
Justice Action Ministries (JAM):
Motivated by our faith and inspired and sustained by religious community, we have a strong tradition of social justice within Unitarian Universalism and in our Fellowship. Ours is a faith of “deeds, not creeds,” and we believe social justice work is a vital part of congregational and spiritual life.
We believe that long-term institutional work, as well as helping to meet immediate needs, are both required to bring about justice in our world. Our governing board has stated that one of our Ends (goals) is that we: “are a visible presence and resource, courageously challenging injustice and inequity.”
- Our Justice Action Ministry (JAM) program is multi-faceted and has something for everyone!
- We have different JAMs that each focus on unique issues, for example hunger and homelessness or environmental justice. These are led by members and friends of our Fellowship who have a passion for these issues.
- JAMs often cooperate to support each other and recognize the interdependence of our work.
- JAMs host events, educational opportunities, or offer ways to make a difference in our larger community. A few examples from past years include: Serving several meals each year at one of the Pillars shelters in Appleton, supporting a Habitat for Humanity build, working to increase citywide public transportation through our interfaith group (ESTHER), having film-viewings to learn about climate change, supporting the building of a Guest House at our partner congregation in Romania, and providing holiday gifts for local children whose parents are undocumented immigrants.
2020-21 Justice Focus & Collaboration Areas
Each JAM has committed for 2020-21 to focus on two primary issues, recognizing the various ways each JAM can intersect with these issues by learning or making a difference.
- UU the Vote – Focusing on electoral justice using a UU faith lens, advocating for fair elections and access to voting, not advocating for any specific candidates or parties. Learn more at uuthevote.org.
- Dismantling Racism – Finding ways to unlearn racism in our own lives, recognize our institutional patterns that perpetuate whiteness, and make changes on a larger scale that bring about racial justice. As a congregation we proclaim that Black lives matter and regularly offer support to local and national organizations led by and advocating justice for People of Color.
Justice Action Ministry Facilitators
The purpose of the JAM Facilitators is to help the Fellowship fulfill the part of our mission statement stating that we will “Lead in Social Justice.” This team consists of members and leaders from each JAM and those who want to help support the creation of new JAMs, and the larger support of the justice ministries of the Fellowship.
Essentials: Food and Shelter for All Action JAM: This group’s purpose is to ensure adequate food and shelter in the Fox Valley and beyond; to work to address obstacles which stand in the way of people being able to meet these needs for themselves.
Green Sanctuary JAM: The purpose of this group is to raise awareness of our changing climate of the earth, with special emphasis on local effects and actions. The team will identify activities people can do and work to see those actions come to fruition.
ESTHER: This is the Fellowship’s connection to ESTHER, an interfaith community organizing group of which the Fellowship is a member. The purpose of the JAM is to educate, motivate and mobilize Fellowship members to participate in social justice activities, such as reforms to prison, immigration reform and public transportation. We work by building relationships. Contact Connie Raether for information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Social Justice Groups and Projects we Support
Immigration Justice Team: The Fellowship has declared itself a sanctuary congregation, which means we are ready and willing to house someone who needs protection from being deported. With this declaration, we also stand with those seeking asylum and are working towards congregational sponsorship of a compa, or someone seeking asylum.
Partner Church Committee: Our Fellowship’s partnership with Deva, Romania, began in 1999, and since then there have been many pilgrim visits between the two congregations. More recently, we have also established a partner church in the Philippines.
Greater Good: The Greater Good Project is an endeavor involving all ages and created to bring meaning back to the holidays. We ask participating members and friends of our Fellowship to tally up what they spend on the holiday season, including presents, wrappings, trimmings, travel, food and entertainment. Then 50% of their usual holiday spending becomes a gift to the Greater Good. The funds are distributed to carefully selected projects voted for by the children and youth of the Fellowship. During the 2020-21 program year, we will not be having a Greater Good program due to the pandemic and the financial uncertainty and other complexities that have arisen during this time. We hope to offer it again in future years.
Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce: As part of our efforts to promote the Fellowship as a congregation that welcomes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members and attendees, we have joined the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. This organization works to create a fully inclusive state by promoting economic growth and opportunities among LGBT owned and allied businesses, professionals, and corporations in Wisconsin.