Mission & Social Justice Committee

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.  — Isaiah 1:17

The Missions Committee makes visible to the congregation the worldwide interconnectedness of the body of Christ. We believe that God calls us to love and care for our neighbors near and far, and to share our abundance with them. The Committee disperses a yearly budget to national and international bodies of the UCC and educates the congregation about the work of these bodies. We also share our resources with various local nonprofit organizations and ministries. We encourage individuals to participate in supporting these partnerships with both funds and volunteer involvement.

Contact: 
Alice Kidder

Latest Mission & Social Justice Committee News

Urgent: Support Our Immigrant Neighbors
Posted: Nov 14 2018 - 1:25pm

The Department of Homeland Security recently issued a proposed rule changing the definition of what it means to be a “public charge.” These new rules could potentially impact the life and well-being of millions of immigrant families. Currently immigrants must meet several requirements before obtaining permanent residency and citizenship.

An assessment of whether an immigrant is a “public charge” evaluates whether that person will rely on public assistance. The new rules greatly expand the definition of what qualifies as a public charge; and if finalized, will penalize tax-paying immigrants’ families and create an immigration system that prioritizes the wealthy few over families working to secure a future in the United States.

These changes target immigrant families specifically and, in effect, create a second class of citizens, who, even though they are working and living the US, are not granted access to essential services. This includes access to non-emergency Medicaid, and Medicare Part D, access to nutrition assistance and housing support. An expanded unnecessary change in the public charge definition means that many immigrant families will be forced to choose between using essential public assistance needed to keep their family healthy, or the opportunity to receive or maintain their legal immigration status.

As people of faith living out our call to welcome immigrants, we must speak up and let the Administration know that it is unacceptable for these proposed rules to be finalized. We must instead work on polices that raise us all up as a country and that welcome and encourage the immigrant families among us.

You can help by writing a public comment opposing the rule. The deadline is December 10 and having a significant number of comments will impact the final rule. You don’t need to be an expert to submit a comment, just share your story about how the rule could affect your community and congregation. Be sure to include the docket number, DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012, then state your opposition to the rule and ask for it to be withdrawn. You can use the link here or you can also submit a comment directly on the Regulations.gov website for DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-001.

Volunteer at the Friday Café
Posted: Mar 6 2018 - 2:00pm

Volunteer signups are underway for the Friday Café! The Friday Café is a weekly community gathering space, where neighbors experiencing homelessness and food insecurity can relax and eat. It’s also a place of encounter, where people can get to know and understand one another better. It takes place every Friday afternoon, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m., in Margaret Jewett Hall.

There are many ways to help out! You can volunteer your time; you can cook; you can donate durable clothing in good condition, or warm blankets and sleeping bags, or some new basics (socks, underwear, bras); you can give toiletries; you can help connect us with volunteer groups from your network. We welcome participation in many forms. Sign up here, and learn more at www.thefriday.cafe.

― Kate Layzer, Minister of Street Outreachklayzer@gmail.com

 

Abolish Mandatory Minimums in Sentencing
Posted: Feb 13 2018 - 3:20pm

To address institutional racism, please call your state representative and Senator, and ask for abolishment of mandatory minimums in sentencing. Ask them to contact the Joint Committee dealing with this legislation. For more background on this issue, email Alice Kidder at flintkiddr@aol.com.

The Department of Homeland Security recently issued a proposed rule changing the definition of what it means to be a “public charge.” These new rules could potentially impact the life and well-being of millions of immigrant families. Currently...

To address institutional racism, please call your state representative and Senator, and ask for abolishment of mandatory minimums in sentencing. Ask them to contact the Joint Committee dealing with this legislation. For more background on this...