Social Justice is a primary part of our church mission. We believe in “deeds not creeds.” Although we follow the lead of our national association, we focus mainly on local and state needs, where we think we can make a difference.
The role of the SJ committee is to help the congregation study global and national issues, and to look for ways for church members and friends to get involved, make a difference, grow spiritually,and, yes, feel good by doing good. The social justice drop-down menu includes links to pages on our focus issues.
Right now, we are finishing our focus on the green sanctuary program, and have submitted our final report on our accomplishments to the UUA; we hope to be an accredited green sanctuary soon. You can find that report on our green sanctuary webpage, along with seasonal suggestions for living greener.
Our current action issue is Backpack Buddiesof Spartanburg, which our church is leading this year. We’re enlisting community help to serve over 100 children in three schools, by sending them home every Friday with a bag of food to help feed them on the week-ends.
Our current study-and-action issue is developing a program for LGBT youth, a group at high risk for self-harm, bullying, substance abuse, parental rejection, and even being literally thrown out of their homes. UUCS is the church most able to reach out to this group of teens.
For several years, “Share the Plate” has been our major method of contributing money to special causes. Twice a month, half the undesignated money, as well as designated checks, go to one special need. Over half of our recipients are local, like TOTAL Ministries. It provides for basic needs to assist families in Spartanburg County who are facing a financial crisis. UUCS has a goal of filling one food barrel a month for TOTAL. We also help with their mobile pantry food drives and contribute financially. Our Christmas Eve collections are often for TOTAL Ministries.
Other local recipients of “Share the Plate” include the Hope Center for children and youth, SAFE Homes, Habitat for Humanity, Hatcher Gardens, and more. Collections also go to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund, to help our church members in financial need.
UUCS members and friends have been involved in the St. Luke's Free Medical Clinic almost since its beginning over fifteen years ago. We currently have four volunteers for St. Luke's who act as screeners. They check personal contact information, medical history, and emergency contact information, and also review eligibility information with new patients. UUCS has also given monetary donations to the clinic.
UUCS’s Love, Knit, and Crochet, akin to a Prayer Shawl group, began three years ago. Each fall, we make scarves for the homeless. We’ve made baby blankets for our nurse-midwife to take to Haiti and shawls for our infirm church members. Of course, we teach crochet and knitting to any who want to learn.
UUCS has been involved with other local activities; in the South Converse Neighborhood Association, helping plan a revitalized park and worked in litter pick-ups. We collect newspapers, etc., for Animal Allies, a low-cost animal clinic. Church members volunteer for Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen, and Hatcher Gardens, among others.
Several church members participate with Upstate Atheists, whose motto is “charity beyond belief.” They have handed out toiletries kits to low income people, adopted a highway, worked with Habitat for Humanity, and participated in several other charitable activities.
Several of our collections for global issues have helped communities in Hinche, Haiti receive health care. A congregational member, a nurse-midwife, has dedicated some of her vacations to teaching in the school for midwives, and we provided medical supplies and other help to the school and community. Her reports on her trips inform and inspire us.
We choose national and global issues to study, influenced by the interests and passions of congregational members, the UUA, and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. For more about these national affiliates, see <http://www.uua.org/> and <http://www.uusc.org/>
Our monthly committee meetings, usually at 7:00 on the fourth Wednesday, combine discussion, study, and action-everyone is welcome to join us!
Social Justice Overview
Sunday Service at 11:00
Vespers Wednesday at 6:30
CHURCH OF SPARTANBURG
210 Henry Place, 29306
P.O. Box 1942
Spartanburg, SC 29304-1942
Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg