WE ARE CURRENTLY ENGAGED IN THE FOLLOWING PROJECTS
SERVICE — Covenant to Care, IRIS, CROP Walk, Hawkwing; KIVA microloan fund; Jewish Voice for Peace, Tree of Life; UUSC; Call to Care Uganda; Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantry, Guilford Food Bank; Branford Community Dining Room, Center for Domestic Violence Services; interfaith breakfasts; and winter fuel assistance to local towns.
EDUCATION – Films and public lectures: Sierra Club and the Hagar Jewish-Arab School: Alternatives to Violence Project; public meetings on gun violence; on vegan food practices; UU history program to promote justice issues; info tables and craft sales at coffee hour; public meetings on environment outside SUUS, cosponsored with Sierra Club, 1st Congregational of Guilford and Guilford Peace Alliance; encouraging participation and hands-on learning with Branford residents at town meetings; networking with New Haven, Standing Rock; handing out leaflets at Hobby Lobby in East Haven to let the public know that Hobby Lobby won’t provide health insurance to female employees for contraceptive and other reproductive health costs.
WITNESS – Walking with the the Peace Alliance in the Guilford parade and helping to hand out leaflets on economic justice and environment; collecting petition signatures to ban pipeline expansion and disposal of fracking waste in Guilford and across CT; trying to work in coalition with environmental groups across the state; collecting petitions to amend Citizens United inresponse to the UUA’s call for congregational witness to this issue, encouraging SUUS members to attend public meetings.
ADVOCACY – SUUS supports an initiative to lower property taxes for seniors in Madison, and followed up by attending town meetings and Board of Finance meetings to speak on behalf of the proposed legislation; contacting town and state representatives encouraging them to support a statewide resolution to amend Citizens United; and to support environmental measures, including promotion of solar panels and 100% renewable energy; doing outreach to other groups to support environmental measures, and going with them through the legislative process
In Church Year 2016-17, SJC began collecting feminine products and personal care items on the 4th Sunday of each month, for our food banks and for Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS). This was a direct request from these organizations about what they are looking for. Food stamps and other assistance programs do not cover the cost of non-food items, so our congregation is now known for its monthly collections.
In previous years, the SJC collected 4th Sunday Outreach Offerings for:
- Branford Community Dining Room
- Hawkwing (based in CT/serving the Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux Reservation)
- fuel assistance in Madison & Guilford
- 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
- Youth Service Opportunities Project (the choice of the youth in the Coming of Age group)
The SJC also contributed income from the Standing on the Side of Love Fund (an annually distributed fund to assist marginalized people all over the world) to support the following:
- KIVA, a micro-finance institution, making small loans to people throughout the world who otherwise have little or no access to conventional bank loans.
- Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services, a program of BHCare providing services to victims of domestic violence in southern CT.