A Core Value of Unitarian Universalism
Social Justice is not the work of one group alone but of the church as a whole, a core value of all we are and do together, the expression of our Unitarian Universalist Principles – respect for the inherent worth and dignity of all living things; equity and compassion in human relations; the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process; a world community with peace, liberty and justice for all; mindful of the interdependent web of existence.
The purpose of the Social Justice Coordinating Team is to inform, educate and support congregational members in areas of social concern, to find ways and means to rectify social injustices at all levels of society, and to support our social justice task forces who are working on specific issues.
Unitarian Universalism and social justice coexist because social justice is based in compassion and care for others, as well as a sense that we should all respect the worth of others and our world. Without social justice, our communities would be lacking a sense of peace and fairness that we all strive for.
These are the times that our church was intended for,
to help us act with courage in the face of fear and hate.
~ Chris Crass, Unitarian Universalist
What Does Social Justice Do?
In the fall of 2017, the Social Justice Coordinating Team (SJCT) sponsored a three-day workshop for the congregation to help us select the areas of justice work we find most compelling. From that powerful weekend, we developed new task forces:
- The Environmental Team (Green Team) has targeted several areas of interest: Supporting the town-by-town fracking waste ban, one use plastic bag ban, and making SUUS a Green Sanctuary. Contact Jere Armen
- The Gender Issues Justice Team goal is to improve gender relationships and gender dynamics at SUUS and beyond. They work on the issues of reproductive rights, sexual harassment, domestic violence pay inequality, and other issues. Contact Nancy Stanwood
- The Food Insecurity Team is working to alleviate hunger in our community including the at risk youth enrolled in Emerge Youth Build. Our work continues at the Community Dining Room, Shoreline Food Pantries and assists in the distribution of feminine products to the pantries and to IRIS. Contact Barb Francese
- Anti-Racism Task Force, formed in June 2020, to address the evils of racism in our culture through action and reflection. Contact Rev. Jeanne
Share the Plate Sundays and Outreach Offering
- CT Women Education & Legal Fund
- Clifford Beers Clinic
- Planned Parenthood
- CT Fund for the Environment
- Black Lives UU
- Shoreline Soup Kitchens
- Hurricane Relief for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico
- Amistad Catholic Workers House
- Covenant to Care
- RE-MEMBER (serving the Pine Ridge Reservation)
- UUSC for response to Ebola virus epidemic
- Center for Reproductive Rights
- National Resources Defense Council
- UUSC for earthquake relief in Nepal
- CT Bail Fund
- Branford Community Dining Room
- Hawkwing (CT based, serving the Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux Reservation)
- Fuel assistance in Madison, Branford, Clinton and Guilford
- Youth Service Opportunities
- League of Conservation Voters
- CT Food Bank
- Call to Care Uganda
Our Welcoming Congregation
Shoreline Unitarian is a UUA Welcoming Congregation
SUUS was recognized as a Welcoming Congregation by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in 1993. This means SUUS commits to being inclusive and expressive of the concerns of GLBTQ persons at every level of congregational life – in worship, in programs, and in social opportunities.
In 2008, with the establishment of the Fred Keefe Endowment Fund, the congregation voted to set aside 10% of grant money available each year to support the LGBTQ community and to educate, advocate, and support all our brothers and sisters in their struggles with equal rights. Our congregation held LGBTQ movie series in June for many years, worked with Welcoming Congregations of CT to identify Welcoming and Affirming congregations of all faiths, supported True Colors and sent our youth to their conferences at UCONN, hosted PFLAG events, worked for marriage equality in CT with Love Makes a Family and continue to support the UUA statements of conscience nationally.
Our UUA expects all of its member congregations to be welcoming to individuals and families regardless of sexual or affectional orientation, gender identity or expression, race or ethnicity, ability/disability, class, age, or language and citizenship status.