Social Justice Teams

LOVE IS THE DOCTRINE OF OUR CHURCH… AND SERVICE IS ITS PRAYER

We live out our covenant of love by working for social justice. More than twelve Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno congregants are active members of our Social Justice Team, and most  members of our church participate in social justice projects through donations of their time and money. Among the ongoing activities of the Social Justice Team are:

Faith In Fresno Social Justice Team
Faith in Fresno is an interfaith coalition of congregations and justice groups in Fresno working together to create systemic change in key issues facing our city, including: substandard housing, access to jobs that pay a living wage, immigration reform, protection of undocumented individuals, police accountability, gun violence, voter registration in underserved communities, and youth at risk. The Unitarian Universalist Church is an active member of Faith in Fresno, and our Faith in Fresno Social Justice Team can help you get involved.

Immigration Justice Leadership Team
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno recently voted to become a Sanctuary Church and provide safe housing for undocumented individuals in danger of imminent deportation. The Immigration Justice Leadership Team is a group of church members who care about immigration issues and reform, and will mobilize the congregation if we are called on to host and house an individual or family in need of sanctuary.

LGBTQ Rainbow Pride Parade Team
We help get the congregation prepared to march in Fresno’s annual Pride Parade. We plan publicity, creative attire, and items to give away. We also staff a table at the Pride Festival after the parade.

M’ella House:  All Church Social Justice Project 
In 2006 the church adopted M’ella House as an all-church social justice program. M’ella House is a residential treatment center for women and their small children. The women may be receiving substance abuse treatment, anger management, parenting classes, and more. Our church is a regular presence with monthly birthday parties, support for the preschool, funding for field trips, gift bags at Christmas, and a handmade blanket for each new child. Books and toys for children from birth through age 7 are in constant demand.

Wings Advocacy Fresno. Homeless to Home: Restoring Hope and Dignity
Wings is a nonprofit started by members of our church and members of the Catholic Bishops’ Homeless Advocacy Committee. Wings volunteers serve Fresno’s formerly homeless, newly housed families, veterans, individuals, and women and children fleeing domestic violence. Volunteers and donations of gently used home furnishings are always needed.

Citizen’s Climate Lobby
Join church and non-church members who care about global warming and environmental sustainability issues.  Help us take specific actions in advocating for governmental policy changes.

Prison Ministry
Our team supports the inherent worth and dignity of prisoners in Chowchilla prison through an annual goodie bag collection of personal items, serving more than 3,000 women prisoners annually.

Church members and others offer transformative workshops in prisons through the Alternatives to Violence Project.

Through the Unitarian Universalist Association, church members can support incarcerated individuals by donating to the Church of the Larger Fellowship prison ministry and by participating in its letter writing program.

Monthly Hot Meals at the Hotel Californian
On the third Monday of each month, members of our church prepare and serve a meal for the residents of the hotel who have no cooking facilities. About 70 people are served each month.

Monthly Social Justice Collections
On the second Sunday of every month our church takes up a collection to support a local nonprofit organization that is working to make the world a better place. Since 2013 we have donated $52,640 to 33 organizations.

Outreach Team
We staff information tables at key community events to bring visibility to the church and our mission: Love Inclusively, Grow Spiritually, Serve Gratefully, and Work For Justice.  Every Sunday the social justice table is up and running! Team members are there to answer questions or have a conversation about the latest social justice event. We also use the table as a drop-off location if there is a collection taking place, such as items for the Goodie Bag Project or supplies for M’ella House.

Third Sunday Food Collection
Every third Sunday members of the congregation bring contributions of food for people who need our help. Some items go to the food distribution program at Wesley United Methodist Church, serving households in the surrounding El Dorado Park area. Other items go to stock the food pantry for families of children receiving treatment at Valley Children’s Hospital of Central California. Everyone is invited to participate.

CLICK HERE for a list of food that is collected regularly and additional information on distribution.

Earth Day Celebration
Our committee in conjunction with our Green Sanctuary Committee coordinates Earth Day activities at our church for the metropolitan Fresno area encouraging respect for our environment.

Associated Groups:  We work with and support:

The Fresno Center for Nonviolence Stone Soup
Fresno Multifaith Exchange Peace Fresno
Safe PFLAG
The Interfaith Alliance of Central California Fresno Metro Ministry
The Interfaith Social Justice Collaborative Central Valley Counter Recruitment Coalition
To learn more about the social justice work in our congregation or to find out how you can help us make the world a more just and peaceful place, please contact Patty Bennett, Member Services Coordinator, at msc@uufresno.org or (559)322-6146.