Social Justice Coordinating Committee
The First Unitarian Church of Orlando has a long history of education, public witness, advocacy and volunteering on behalf of local, national and international social justice programs consistent with our seven Unitarian Universalist principles. We speak out and act as individuals and give witness as a religious community. Can our Beloved Community of two hundred and fifty persons make a difference? We have always believed we can!
We have stood for women’s suffrage, racial justice and marriage equality, and in opposition to immoral, preemptive war. A support group for people with HIV met at our church; this group eventually became Hope & Help, Orlando’s oldest AIDS service organization. Our church was a site for Head Start for about ten years. Members of our congregation were influential in founding We Care, a suicide hot line in Orlando, and the Orlando Day Nursery, a daycare facility for children of lower income parents. Many UUs, including some from our present congregation, were active in creating the Planned Parenthood chapter in Orlando.
Our Social Justice Coordinating Committee (SJCC) coordinates the various efforts of our justice-related program groups, affinity groups, and projects in order to keep the congregation informed of the latest opportunities and where members can plug in to help. All congregation members and friends are encouraged to participate in organizations that advance the changes you believe are necessary in our world. Follow your own passion and then share your experience with our Beloved Community!
There are many ways to get involved:
1. Existing Initiatives: If you wish to learn more about one of our existing initiatives, including Actions for Immediate Witness or Congregational Study/Action Groups, they are listed here.
2. Currently Active Groups: If you wish to participate with one of our active social justice groups, they are listed here.
4. Advocacy: If you feel passionately about a particular issue, and would like others in our Beloved Community to support you by contacting the appropriate government representatives or others about the issue, we can assist you with our Advocacy Desk. There is also a summary of advocacy organizations congregation members and friends currently support, listed here.
5. Team Volunteering: From time to time, members of the congregation will have the opportunity to volunteer as a team for a local social service organization. The SJCC can coordinate the planning and publicity. Look here for more information about groups we presently support, or are considering for the future.
6. Individual Volunteering: If you wish to volunteer on your own for a worthy local organization that supports one or more of our seven principles, a list of groups and their websites may be found here. In most cases, members of our congregation have either worked with these groups or are familiar with them.
7. Financial Support: If you wish to consider donations to social justice groups recommended and currently supported by one or more individuals in our congregation, or participate in some of their activities, they are listed here.
Current SJCC Members and Openings
A representative from each active Social Action group.