Called to love and justice
Our love and justice work springs from our calling as Christians to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our broken and hurting world. We have come to realize that by serving, we are served; by seeking to help others, we ourselves are transformed.
The short video presented here features Pastor Catherine Foote and four members of our congregation who are or have been deeply involved in our Love and Justice Ministry—Liz Gilbert, Tim Croll, Dave and Jeanne Powell and Toni Higgs. In talking about their volunteer work, they share what inspires them and how the work deeply affects and changes them. This video was produced in 2017. Since that time, Mary’s Place has evolved their program so that they no longer host participants in local churches. We retain this video, however, because it still features passionate church members who continue to work for love and justice.
Action and advocacy on many fronts
Our Love and Justice Ministry is organized into action teams of three or more people.
Click on the Get Involved and Serve button in the sidebar to explore the many ways to join this ministry. The areas that we are working in, and the specific issues we are focused on are listed below. Under Get Involved and Serve you will find specific ways to engage with this important work. Click on the Give Now button to make a financial contribution.
- Creating the Beloved Community—peace and justice advocacy, racial justice initiative, multicultural circle, gun violence prevention, LGBT equality, support for soldiers and veterans, refugee assistance
- Child and Youth Wellbeing—UCUCC child care programs, University District Youth Services, Teen Feed, Roots breakfast team. Learn more about our involvement with children and youth in the Education section.
- Economic Justice—Christmas families, Offering of Gifts Sunday, Hunger Outreach, United Churches Emergency Fund
- Global Ministries—Mwanzo, Palestine Action Group. We also support global ministries through our work with the national UCC and Our Church’s Wider Mission.
- Homes for All—hosting of homeless encampments in our parking lot, safe parking initiative, interfaith Habitat build, Downtown Emergency Service Center
- Sacred Earth—Share the Harvest table, Superfluity, Sacred Earth Matters
We have singled out a few areas of this ministry below that are especially lively and active right now. If you, too, find yourself called to this work, these are great issues with which to get involved. And remember, you don’t have to join a committee to get involved. Express your willingness to go on a march, carry a sign, volunteer at a shelter. There are many opportunities for direct action here.
Sacred Earth Matters
To celebrate the sacredness of all creation, to inspire our community and to mobilize our congregation to be leaders in building a just and sustainable world.
Sacred Earth Matters has been leading environmental awareness and action in our congregation since the first decade of this century. With their encouragement, we have made our building more energy-efficient, have dramatically lessened our use of throw-aways on a daily basis and produced significant electricity by installing 92 solar panels on our roof. As an initiative within the Love and Justice ministry, Sacred Earth Matters has several ambitious goals:
- Provide educational opportunities that will explore theologies offering alternatives to human domination and support the care and integrity of creation, and help us make decisions that will honor the sacredness of creation and confront actions that degrade the earth.
- Participate in creating worship opportunities that celebrate the sacredness of all creation.
- Join with other churches, organizations and communities to restore our bio-region.
- Advocate for environmental justice, linking with other social justice concerns of the church.
- Be ambassadors of sacred creation consciousness within our church, the denomination and the community at large.
Sacred Earth Matters translates these goals into action through Earth Bistro presentations after worship, where speakers engage community members over lunch, by hosting recycling events, engaging in advocacy and sponsoring educational events.
To literally see their work in action, check out the energy production of our solar panels. On a sunny Seattle day, these panels produce enough energy in one day to power eight average Seattle households. They produce about 25 megawatts of electricity per year.
Racial Justice Initiative
Mission and Goals
to live into our pledge to worship God in unity and diversity, welcoming everyone…
To do this, we want to understand the effect of racism in our congregation and broader community. We’ll do this through sacred study, conversation, community building, and worship, so that we can act as liberators to dismantle it.
As a congregation, our goal is to see, hear and feel the racism that surrounds us, and the privilege that many of us have been handed. We do this by:
- Meeting in groups with our newly trained racial justice facilitators for a series of sessions on race, racism and white privilege;
- Using education, reflection, and dialogue to open our hearts and minds; and
- ·Acting on what we’ve learned to become an anti-racist church.
The spiritual and moral work right now for our mostly white congregation is to see the racism that surrounds us, and the privilege that many of us have been handed. In small groups and large, we will learn, reflect, and engage in dialogue about this evil in our culture. We will open our hearts to look at some really disturbing policies and practices, so that we cannot pretend that we are “colorblind” or that the U.S. is “post-racial,” since, after all, we elected a black president.
We do this not to make ourselves feel guilt, shame and blame. None of us chose these systems of oppression. We do this because it’s the right thing to do, because Jesus was a brown-skinned man and would be appalled at how brown and black people are treated in our country, And, because by transforming our hearts and minds we can start the work of transforming our institutions, starting with our church.
Are you interested in participating in these conversations? Follow the Racial Justice news in What’s up now.
Want to get involved on the steering committee or as a facilitator? Click on the Get Involved and Serve button in the side bar and search on “Racial Justice.”
Interested in learning more? We have a Racial Justice Facebook Group. You are welcome to join the group. Click on this link, then ask to join at the top if the page.
Willing to participate in other events around Seattle? Check out the Calendar on the Church Council of Greater Seattle website.
Homes for All
Affordable housing and the issues surrounding homelessness have captured the attention and imagination of this congregation for many years. We have hosted four homelessness encampments in our parking lot, beginning in 2008. We regularly host Mary’s Place in our building for two weeks at a time, providing safe shelter for homeless women and their children.
Some of our lay leaders have become deeply involved with Habitat for Humanity, leading groups of builders to places in need of their skills, including our own state, New Orleans and Guatamala. We provide support to the Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness and volunteer at the Downtown Emergency Service Center. We support homeless teenagers by sponsoring Teen Feed in our building three nights a week.
We support affordable housing through the University Congregational Housing Association, formed as a separate nonprofit in 1983. UCHA owns several buildings in Seattle and continues to expand its properties and services.
There are many opportunities to serve within this ministry. Click on the Get Involved and Serve button in the sidebar to learn more.