The Social Action Team meets regularly to communicate with and support social, economic, and environmental justice groups and to provide information regarding social-justice issues within the congregation, at local and regional levels, and worldwide. The team works with local and regional social-service organizations and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, among other groups.
The Social Action Team also compiles the annual list of recipients for Share Our Plate, whereby the weekly offering, except for donations marked as annual pledge fulfillment, is shared monthly with designated local social-service or social-action nonprofit organizations.
Social Action Team meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend. During COVID-19, the meetings began taking place over Zoom, at 6:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month, and this continues currently. Formerly we met in person, usually with a shared potluck supper following the meeting. We hope to resume meeting in person but have no specified date for that yet. When we do, the information will be published here, in the weekly UUSO Newsletters, in other in-house publications for the congregation, and available to all on this website’s church calendar. Meanwhile, please contact the Social Action Team at email@example.com for further information, or view the UUSO Calendar for the Zoom link and meeting passcode.
To inform everyone about the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) email newsletters, and other social-media outlets dedicated to social-justice issues, the Social Action Team has created a list of resources for anyone who would like to receive information on specific topics. Throughout the UUA and UUSC, there are numerous groups working on many different issues. Please click here to access the list. The first section gives the website links to sign up for email newsletters; the second section lists Facebook pages. See the Facebook pages for information on other social-media links. For more information on the UUA’s activities on social-justice issues, go to the UUA website and type your issue of interest into the search section.
The purpose of the Mali Education Project is to make a difference in the lives of the residents of Kalabankoro, Mali, by sponsoring fifty-six children who can then attend Ecole Privee Youchaou (Youchaou’s Private School), founded by Youchaou Traoré. We hope that with more education these students will be able to make positive differences in their families, in their community, and in Mali – one of the poorest countries in the world.
The education project runs a yearly sponsorship drive: to provide tuition and fees for these fifty-six children who would otherwise not be able to attend school; to encourage cultural exchange between our two communities; and to educate our local area about African cultures and social justice issues in that continent. Our relationship with the Mali community also offers us an opportunity to connect with the Muslim community in our area.
Two major fundraisers are held annually: Muffins for Mali, on four successive Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas (which, in addition to muffins, offers for sale artifacts from Mali that sponsorship coordinator Shirley Ferguson has purchased on her trips there); and a spring fundraiser that typically features an African dinner, sales of African crafts, and a guest speaker or relevant film.
The Mali Education Project meets on the third Sunday of every month, following the Sunday service; anyone who would like to sit in on a meeting and/or join the education project is welcome.
For more information, please contact sponsorship coordinator Shirley Ferguson.
Saturday’s Bread is hot meal program based in Oneonta, NY. Every Saturday a free meal is served from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM to anyone in the community who comes to the First United Methodist Church at 66 Chestnut Street. In addition, local grocery stores and bakeries donate food that can be taken home by the guests at Saturday’s Bread.
Members of the Unitarian Universalist Society volunteer to help prepare and serve the meal several times each year. The coordinator for the UUSO volunteers is Deb Bruce.