p20150725-08-Newark-Black Lives Matter March-UU contingent assembling for the March-2The Social Justice Committee (SJC) works to achieve our congregation’s social justice mission by supporting members as they volunteer, educate, witness, and contribute to organizations and causes dedicated to creating a more equitable world. Email socialjustice@hunterdonuu.org for information.

Currently, FUUFHC social justice ministry is focused on addressing homelessness, hunger and food insecurity, and racial justice. FUUFHC engages in legislative activism related to areas of economic, environmental, immigration, healthcare, and marriage justice. We do this through our involvement in the following:

Family Promise

On Wednesdays and Fridays, about every six weeks, FUUFHC volunteers prepare, deliver and serve meals to homeless individuals and families who are sheltered in a Family Promise participant church. Email familypromise@hunterdonuu.org for information.

Fisherman’s Mark

Fisherman’s Mark has been a part of the community for over 36 years, providing not only services that meet basic needs, such as food and affordable childcare, but going beyond crisis to partner with individuals and families to break the cycle of crisis and promote self-sufficiency and wellness. Programs respond to the needs of vulnerable populations in our area: seniors, individuals living with disabilities, the local immigrant population, low income families, the unemployed and underemployed. They assist with any crisis that presents: homelessness, domestic violence, job-loss, insurance issues, financial crisis or medical, substance abuse or mental health issues.

Habitat for Humanity

For the several years, FUUFHC volunteers have raised funds for Habitat which helped build a home in Lambertville. FUUFHC volunteers have also given the assistance of labor and talent by assisting at an actual build project, as they will again when the next construction project is underway.

Legislative Ministry

Through UU FaithAction New Jersey (formerly UULMNJ), we write letters, make public witness, distribute education materials, meet with legislators, and testify at public hearings. We have participated in campaigns to:

  • Oppose fracking in the Delaware River Basin
  • Increase the minimum wage in NJ and nationally
  • Urge gun manufacturers to increase safety features
  • Legalize marriage for all in NJ
  • Reform immigration laws
  • Support renewable energy legislation

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, FUUFHC participates in “A Day of Service” at the Clinton Community Center in Clinton, N.J. At this event, volunteers of all ages do family-friendly activities, such as assembling home healthcare kits or writing letters to service men and women. In advance of the Day of Service, volunteers within their individual communities and congregations take up a collection of items organizers have identified as particularly needed. For example in 2014, shoes were collected.

NORWESCAP Food Bank

FUUFHC partners with the NORWESCAP Food Bank to fight hunger in northwestern New Jersey. Here are ways you can help:

  • Donate food at any time by placing it in the marked bin by the back door of Dodd Hall (the building behind the Old Stone Church.)  Preferred items are peanut butter, tuna, canned fruits and vegetables, canned soup and nutritious cereals, but other high-nutrition foods are also welcome.
  • Help organize a food drive for the food bank.  This is a good project for covenant groups, religious exploration groups or families.  Find out how by emailing foodbank@hunterdonuu.org.
  • Donate directly to the food bank.  They accept donations of money, certain items for their thrift shop, or food (preferred items listed above.)  For more information, call the food bank at 908-454-4322 or email foodbank@norwescap.org. You can also find out about NORWESCAP Food Bank’s own fundraisers, like the Culinary Celebration in October, which you might want to attend.
  • Volunteer at the food bank on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Email your preferred date(s) to Becky E. at foodbank@hunterdonuu.org.
  • For more information or to receive monthly reminders of the upcoming food bank dates, email foodbank@hunterdonuu.org.

Potluck with a Purpose

Potluck with a Purpose is an opportunity for members of the congregation to introduce social justice causes. The Potluck will be held in Dodd Hall and will provide a chance for an individual to present a social justice organization that they would like to share with the FUUFHC community. The event can include a speaker, either being the FUFFHC member or a representative of the social justice topic. A brief presentation should be done followed by a question and answer/ discussion period. Then the event will be concluded with a potluck. Attendees are asked to bring food to share.

Re-Member

Re-Member is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which works with the Oglala Lakota Nation on Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota.

Volunteers comprised of individuals and groups from churches, high schools, colleges, and corporations join us at their facility in Pine Ridge for one week at a time. Volunteers participate in various work projects across the Reservation, helping to rebuild relationships, homes, and lives.

Guided by the aspirations of the Oglala Lakota Indian communities, Re-Member seeks to improve the quality of reservation life through relationships, shared resources, and volunteer services. Through site visits and cultural immersion, they develop a growing circle of advocates standing in solidarity with the Indian people of Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

Members of our congregation have volunteered in the past and will be volunteering again this summer. If you are interested in volunteering in the summer of 2019 please contact socialjustice@hunterdonuu.org.

The Hunterdon County Interfaith Outreach Council (HIOC)

The Hunterdon County Interfaith Outreach Council (HIOC) is a non-profit organization led by volunteer clergy & faith congregations with the purpose of coordinating outreach to our communities – http://www.hioc-helps.org. Each year they accept donations to help heat homes in winter and provide security deposits for displaced persons and their families. FUUFHC will again be collecting for HIOC in December. Please place checks made out to FUUFHC with HIOC in the memo line in the donation box in the Old Stone Church or give to any member of the Social Justice Committee.

If you are interested in helping with any FUUFHC social justice efforts or joining the committee, contact socialjustice@hunterdonuu.org.