As a conscientious person, you want to make a difference. As a spiritual person, you want to put your faith into action. You know that you cannot save the whole world. But still, you want to do SOMETHING!
Welcome to Social Justice at First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh. We hope you can join us to break down divisions, heal isolation, and honor interconnectedness by creating a welcoming and inclusive congregation through service, education, advocacy, and public witness. Unitarian Universalists put our faith into action.
"More is asked of us that we could have imagined. The beauty of life is such that it will not let us go until we have offered the blessing we have to give. So let the beauty we have seen become the good that we do, and let us not wrest ourselves free from the claim that life places upon us until we, in faith with all those who have gone before us, place ourselves among those who bless the world." — Rev. Rebecca Parker
Get Involved with Social Justice
Providing service to others is a key part of the mission of First Unitarian Church. Ongoing events include Men's Shelter Meal preparations on First Sundays, Green Sanctuary meetings on First Sundays, PIIN/UUPlan Bridge Team meetings on Foruth Wednesdays, and Collection for EECM Food Pantry on any Sundays. There are many more opportunities to participate in social action through a number of groups and outreach programs.
Khasi Hills Partnership - Sponsor a Teacher
our congregation has provided financial sponsorship support each year since 2003 for the Annie Margaret Barr Secondary School in the Khasi Hills of Northeast India. This is a Unitarian-run rural school in the poor tribal state of Meghalaya, where there is little access to public education. The pressing need and goal for the 2016-2017 church year is to raise $4800 to fund a teacher! We hope to fund a teacher for approximately three years until the Higher Secondary school is accredited and government funding kicks in. Learn more on the Khasi Hills Partnership and donate.
The Green Sanctuary program is a collective effort, not just a personal project for a few of the most committed environmentalists in a congregation. It is about all of us, according to our talents and capacities, coming together to create the Earth Community we have envisioned. The program encourages individual actions that reduce our impact on this planet, but primarily it is a program of congregational action. It is about working together to strengthen our ability to create change.
Pennyslvania Fairness Act
The Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network (UUPLAN) is asking Unitarian Universalists throughout Pennsylvania to sign this online petition in support of the Pennsylvania Fairness Act, which ensures that LGBTQ people will be free from discrimination in housing, employment, and business services.
We respect the worth and dignity of every person, and that applies equally to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. UU congregations and clergy have long recognized and celebrated same-sex marriages within our faith tradition.
Standing on the Side of Love
Essential Equipment for Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Activists! The Unitarian Universalist Association is promoting a new social responsibility campaign called “Standing on the Side of Love.” This campaign began in response to the anti-gay shootings at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Knoxville, Tennessee, on a Sunday morning in August 2008 when two church members died of gunshot wounds they suffered while protecting the congregation from a man who used gun violence to express his disagreement with the church’s support for human rights for gay and lesbian people. “Standing on the Side of Love” has since been expanded to include immigrant justice in Arizona and other places.
As members and friends of First Unitarian Church, you are encouraged to purchase bright yellow “Standing on the Side of Love” T-shirts and you are further encouraged to wear these T-shirts whenever you are engaged in public social responsibility work. For example, you could wear your T-shirt whenever you participate in activities sponsored by the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN) or East End Cooperative Ministry (EECM). Ditto for other public social responsibility events you and your family may be attending.
You can purchase “Standing on the Side of Love” T-shirts and other items at the “Standing on the Side of Love Store” after church on many Sundays or online at www.sslonlinestore.com. Sizes are available for both children and adults. More generally, you can learn more and the “Standing on the Side of Love” campaign at www.standingonthesideoflove.org.
Black Lives Matter
Racial profiling, police brutality, and mass imprisonment of are examples of how African Americans and other people of color suffer at the hands of today’s legal system. The UUA passed an Action of Immediate Witness in 2015 listing the reasons Unitarians support the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Learn about five ways that Unitarian Universalists can support Black Lives Matter at http://www.uuworld.org/articles/5-ways-support-black-lives-matter.
You can stay informed of general events through Black Lives of UU.
Our Whole Lives (OWL)
Since 1970 we have advocated for and provided age-appropriate, medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education. OWL is a series of curricula for every life stage and is considered the gold standard for comprehensive sexuality education grounded in progressive values.
One of the fundamental principles of our church is the use of the democratic process. As an expression of our faith, we engage in voter registration and protecting voting rights to empower all eligible people to contribute their voices to the democratic process.
We also work together with our Social Action Partners to embrace, articulate, and advocate for social justice.
Additional resources and tools can be found on the UUA Social Justice page.