The Unitarian Church of Harrisburg (UCH) reaches out for justice, equality, and compassion through its own ministries and teams, and is also actively involved in partnerships for a whole range of advocacy, public witness, and community service activities. Partnerships can take the form of long-term interfaith councils, coalitions formed around justice issues, fundraising and resource support for charitable organizations, and volunteer events.
Share the Plate
One mechanism UCH has for connecting with other organizations is Share the Plate. A different partner organization each month receives half of the undesignated gifts collected in the offering plate during Sunday morning worship. In 2017, UCH gave away a total of $10,624 to our Share the Plate partners.
Gather the Spirit for Justice
Our closest community partner is Gather the Spirit for Justice (GTS), an independent 501(c)(3) organization that rents space in the lower level of UCH’s Market Street campus. UCH members are among the volunteers at Common Ground Community Hours and the Common Ground Café. GTS is the Share the Plate partner at least once a year, and benefits from UCH resource collection drives for winter clothing items and personal care items. Read more here.
Ecumenical Food Pantry
The Ecumenical Food Pantry is another significant community partner. There is an ongoing collection drive for the Ecumenical Food Pantry, and it is an annual Share the Plate recipient.
A Community Conversation on Homelessness
One of UCH’s other partners is A Community Conversation on Homelessness. This coalition started out as a one-time event and is evolving into an interfaith meeting place for service delivery organizations and houses of worship as we strategize about a vision of human dignity and empowerment for all the people of Harrisburg.
Lay Led Ministries
Several of UCH’s lay-led ministries focus on advocacy and witness around a single issue or a cluster of issues. Community Partners connected through lay-led ministries include Helping People in Prison and Their Families; Shut Down Berks (an immigration justice organization); March on Harrisburg; UUPlan, and the Poor Peoples Campaign. For more information, see Social Justice.