Learn more about our Social Justice ministries and programs

How is UUC’s social justice work supported and overseen?

Rev. Beth Chronister and Justin Almeida at Standing Rock

The Rev. Beth Chronister provides leadership to our Caring and Justice Ministries, and represents our congregation in many of our external coalitions and partnerships. She works closely with UUC’s Social Justice Steering Committee, which is made up of members of the church. The Steering Committee’s role is to help make UUC fertile ground for justice work to grow and spread. They oversee the Dedicated Plate Collection and Seeds of Justice programs, and look for ways to support and cultivate social justice leadership and initiative in our congregation.

Much of the direct work of social justice is done by our different ministry groups and projects, made up of church members and facilitated by committed lay leaders. For more information on justice ministries at UUC, contact Rev. Beth via email or by phone (206-454-7714).

Does UUC provide direct assistance to individuals and families in crisis as a focus of justice ministries?

No. UUC participates in the United Churches Emergency Fund, which assists people in four Seattle zip codes with grants of up to $125 towards rent, rental deposits, or utilities. UCEF also provides local bus tickets, toiletries, and snack packs, as well as compassionate listening and referrals for other needed services. We refer community members who come to us for basic assistance to UCEF (206-524-7885). Members of UUC’s congregation who find themselves in need of assistance are encouraged to contact our Care Team.

What if I have an idea for a social justice project or group at UUC?

Contact our Assistant Minister, the Rev. Beth Chronister. She’ll help you determine if your idea might fit the goals of an existing social justice group or committee – if so, she’ll help you connect with them. Otherwise, she’ll encourage you to find five other members of the UUC community who want to work with you on your idea. We’ve found this increases support and sustainability. Once you have assembled a group of committed individuals, you’ll work together to articulate some goals and next steps, how you see your work fitting in with UUC’s mission and vision, and what support you might want from the church. Then your group can complete and submit a simple form, which becomes the charter required of all committees and groups by our church’s bylaws. Finally, this request is reviewed by Rev. Beth and the  and Social Justice Steering Committee, who will guide you from there.

What are the benefits and requirements of forming an official social justice group or project?

Official groups and projects of the church act with the blessing, financial and practical support, and moral voice of the congregation. In return, each group must revisit its goals, activities, and support needs each year, to assess whether its purpose and activities remain viable and vibrant. Each group must name one or two main points of contact. If the group is spending or raising money, it must adhere to relevant policies and procedures of the church. Lastly, each group must commit to doing its work in a way that cultivates openness, respect, integrity, and personal relationships.

What if I’d like to hold a fundraiser through UUC for a good cause?

UCC has policies and limitations regarding fundraising activities, to ensure that these efforts are grounded in our social justice activities, foster a sense of collective action, and coordinate with the other fundraising needs of the church over the course of the year. Our social justice program has two main fundraising avenues: the Dedicated Plate Collection program, and our Seeds of Justice program. UUC social justice groups may also obtain permission to sell fair trade gifts at the year-end holiday season as a way of raising funds.