~written by Jack Clark
In this season of thanksgiving, as we wrap up our pledge campaign celebrating the financial gifts given to UCUCC, we also want to celebrate the gifts of time and talent that our members give to the church. We are truly blessed by those who contribute to our mission and ministry by serving on committees, action teams, with our children and youth, singing in our choir, writing cards, baking cookies, doing the work of justice and advocacy, and holding this community in weekly prayer. For each of you who participate in this way, we are grateful for your leadership. Thank you! Please enjoy this series celebrating some extraordinary volunteers.
When Anne and Lon Dickerson joined the University Congregational United Church of Christ family nearly a decade ago, they decided to get involved with the community right away. The couple are vital members of the church’s environmental justice group Sacred Earth Matters.
“They have been active and vital members of the Sacred Earth Matters team and the congregation by educating and urging us to take action and advocate for creation justice.” Carol Nelson, co-chair of the Love & Justice Ministry Committee said.
Originally named the “green church task force”, Sacred Earth Matters works to promote environmental justice and climate change awareness. Meeting once a month after church, the group take on a number of actions to help further their goal.
“We organize alerts for advocacy on a variety of issues around the state and around the country,” the Dickersons said.
Every year Lon Dickerson creates a list of bills that are being considered by the Washington legislature. He prioritizes the ones that require the most advocacy and writes emails every week during the sessions to encourage the community to contact their legislators.
“We take a number of bills that we consider critical for reducing carbon and cleaning up the air… and we work with probably a dozen or more bills every year trying to get them approved,” the Dickersons said.
Anne Dickerson researches how to successfully advocate for environmental justice, better our alliances with local tribes in their efforts, and has also helped build the church’s Lenten pledge to reduce plastics. As well as serve as a thoughtful voice in the community to anyone seeking to learn more about the efforts of the church.
“And we also have about a total of 150 people who have signed up to receive weekly alerts during the legislative session to contact their senators and representatives about one particular bill and to urge that it be approved,” the Dickersons said.
To learn more about volunteering with Sacred Earth Matters at University Congregational United Church of Christ, feel free to visit the SEM page of the church website at this link.
“It has been a pleasure to be challenged and encouraged by these two people.” Carol Nelson said.