Our Social Action Team (SAT) engages in activities focused on advancing justice and peace. An overview of the committee and a description of its activities appear below.
The Social Action Team has a leadership team organized around our church’s Ends Statements and the team’s operational needs. Current SAT leadership team members are:
- Social Action Team Chair – Janice Smith – email
- Economic Justice Coordinator – Diane Suhler – email
- Anti-Racism Coordinator – Wiley Miller – email
- LGBTQ Coordinator – Tessa Summers – email
- Finance – Amie Burling – email
- Education – Suzanne Griffin – email
- Communications – Suzanne Hansford Bowles – email
2015-16 Social Action Team Members – Janice Smith, Chair; and Ellen Atkins, Martha Brownlee-Duffeck, Amie Burling, Ene-Kaja Chippendale, Stephanie Dorman, Allie Gassmann, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, Desi Long, Gretchen Maune, Ruth Milledge, Wiley Miller, Stephen Mudrick, Maria Oropallo, Jeffrey Richter, Winifred Scott, Steve Skolnick, Angie Mathews Stuart, Diane Suhler, Tessa Summers, Caya Tanski-French, Andrew Twaddle, Margaret Tyler and Sarah Wolcott.
Social Action Team Covenant – Adopted by unanimous vote at the SAT Annual Retreat on Sept. 10, 2016:
- Our work will be most effective if it concentrates on systemic change, but also includes direct service in relationship with those in need.
- Our work will of necessity bring us into conflict with those who resist change, either because of their fear of change or because the present conditions serve their interests.
- Where conflict results from our press for systemic change, we will pursue justice vigorously, but with good humor, with fairness, with open minds, and with compassionate hearts.
- We will consider success as progress on the road to greater social justice and never as vanquishing an enemy.
- We will work for social justice, not only because it makes us feel good to “do good,” but because our work to serve justice affirms our humanity and is essential for collective liberation.
- We will always be mindful of the spiritual basis for our work and not allow our work to become merely partisan political efforts.
- We are permanently committed to continuous social justice reform and recognize no permanent allies nor permanent adversaries.
- We will look to affected groups for leadership and join in common cause whenever that joining adds strength to the effort.
- We agree that in our work together, we will count all voices equally, listen to hear, and look for the light in one another.
Mission Statement – We seek to inspire and model effective social action by the following means:
- Educational – We bring issues and problems of human rights, justice, conflict, and peace to the attention of our congregation, and we offer our congregation ideas, tools, and strategies designed to deal with those the issues and problems that we present. Consequently, members of our congregation enjoy increased opportunities to become individually and collectively engaged with matters of relief, justice, and peace.
- Action – The committee organizes or sponsors and promotes many of the human rights/justice activities in which members and groups of the church are invited to participate.
- Symbolic – We join and contribute financial support to local, national, and international programs and organizations whose efforts support Unitarian Universalist social justice principles. Because of our size, our memberships and financial contributions are primarily symbolic – yet they demonstrate a commitment to the principles and causes in which we believe.
Who are we? This team consists of people who wish to be involved in a variety of issues of social justice within a church-organized framework. Our efforts reflect the level of participation of our committee members, the energy of committee members, the financial support of our congregation, established decision-making guidelines, and a willingness to make a difference in our world.
When does the team meet? Meetings are held on the first Sunday of each month after the second worship service from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Forum Room/Library on the lower level of the building.
Who is allowed to participate? Meetings are open, and everyone is invited to attend and to join the Social Action Team. Membership in the church is strongly encouraged but not required.
How can you get involved? To get involved, come to a meeting, call the church office at 573-442-5764, or the Church Administrator and ask that your message be forwarded to the SAT. We welcome like-minded people. Please join us in our work as we develop our community to do social justice ministry.
Among other things, the SAT currently conducts twice-monthly “Faith-to-Action” collections during worship services. Proceeds are given to local, national, and international organizations and programs in the name of the church. Examples of recipients are the Central Missouri Food Bank, Centro Latino, Medzou Clinic, Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and The Center Project. See Faith-to-Action Collections for amounts collected, Other current and past committee projects and programs over the years include:
- Serving meals at Loaves and Fishes at Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church on the third Sunday evening each month – see photo below (sign up here)
- Collection of food for the Food Bank
- Participation in Mid-Missouri PrideFest (see also LGBT Welcome)
- Participation in the local CROP Walk (for more information on CROP Hunger Walks, see the Church World Service website or the local website)
- Co-sponsorship of Columbia’s Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Awards Breakfast
- Co-sponsorship of refugee families from Bosnia and Sudan
- Sponsorship of the Festival of Sharing activities of our church
- Participation in the Regional Aids Interfaith Network (RAIN)
- Co-sponsorship and support of the Juan Pablo Segundo Fair Trade Sewing Cooperative and community center near La Ceiba, Honduras, including trips to Honduras by church groups in 2009, 2011 and 2014.
- Support of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks
- Participation in local Earth Day celebrations
- And much more….