The Unitarian Church of Harrisburg has several active lay-led groups specific to spiritual practice, education, community building, and social justice. Groups specific to social justice are listed here.
HELPING PEOPLE IN PRISON AND THEIR FAMILIES (HPIPF)
Since beginning in December 2001, our lay led ministry has Helped People (both women and men) In Prison and their Families in many ways. We continue to partner with the PA Prison Society, and we support the Prison Action Committee of Christian Churches United and the Poor People’s Campaign-A National Call for Moral Revival because poverty is our country’s biggest source of future inmates and the need for Moral Revival has never been greater.
Some HPIPF committee members serve with the Dauphin County Bail Fund. The fund seeks to aid people who are incarcerated at Dauphin county prison who cannot afford low bail amounts. The fund pays their entire bail at no expense to the prisoner so they can wait for court at home. This has been especially important during the past year due to the presence of Covid-19 in prisons.
Humanism is a non-theist tradition that focuses on human potential and emphasizes personal responsibility for ethical behavior. Many UCH members identify as humanist and engage regularly in the discussion and development of ethics and the pursuit of social justice.
The humanist lay-led ministry offers opportunities to meet for book discussions, presentations, and open discussion. Currently these are held via zoom.
Contact Rachel Mark if you are interested in receiving information about upcoming meetings and events.
Our only life is this life ~ Our only world is this world ~ Our only hope is each other ~ And this is enough.
POWER TO THE HILL (P2H)
Power to the Hill is a non-partisan voter engagement outreach program of Gather the Spirit for Justice. The goal of P2H is voter engagement and active citizenship that translates into community action in the Allison Hill community of Harrisburg. This group is an offshoot of We March. We Act. a lay-led ministry of UCH which was organized after the 2017 Women’s March to take non-partisan political action to promote the seven UU principles. Following the lead of the UUA, the Women’s March, and the Poor People’s Campaign, P2H now focuses solely on voter engagement. This is tied directly to the Fifth Principle which affirms and promotes the use of the democratic process. And more widely the work of P2H affirms the inherent worth and dignity of all (1st principle) and the goal of justice for all (6th principle). Please contact Wendy Shaver if you would like to join the team!
REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE ALLIES
Reproductive Justice Allies seek to inform the UCH congregation about reproductive justice issues in concert with UUPlan. Lay-led ministry members provide input to Roe v. Wade service planning and to campaigns in support of a variety of Planned Parenthood activities. Members also support the efforts of the newly-established Pennsylvania Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights. See PA Clergy for Choice on Facebook. Contact Barb Pearce, James Cavenaugh, or Margaret Blough for more information or visit the UUA Web site.
SOCIAL JUSTICE ROUNDTABLE
The Social Justice Roundtable connects the UCH social justice teams and lay-led ministries. Its purpose is to inform, educate, share our events, advocate for our UU principles, and support each other. Roundtable meetings and Journey to Justice presentations will be held at Clover Lane at 7 PM on the 4th Wednesday of each month, beginning May 23, 2018. We hope all UCH activists will send a representative to these meetings and include your schedule of events in our listing. We will be keeping a calendar of UCH and community action events on the UCH Website Social Justice page. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. For information, contact Rachel Mark or Karen Sykes.
UUJusticePA, formerly UUPLAN, is a non-profit advocacy group supporting justice issues in Pennsylvania. We currently support 6 legislative justice teams: (Criminal Justice Reform, Economic Justice, Environmental Justice, Good Government, Gun Violence Prevention, and Reproductive Justice) by monitoring legislation and advocating to lawmakers. Our mission is to be the voice of UU values in the public square. Learn more about how you can help here.
CLIMATE ACTION TEAM
UCH works in collaboration with UUJusticePA’s Environmental Justice team. The team meets on ZOOM on the second Thursday of every month at 7:30 PM.
UUJusticePA E-J Mission Statement: Our Mission is to explore what it means to live within a religious community on an imperiled Earth and join in efforts, both symbolic and explicit, to becoming stewards of the Earth.
As a member of PA Interfaith Power and Light, the UUJusticePA Environmental Justice Team voted at their Feb. 9, 2017 meeting to adopt the Policy Resolution on Fracking and Infrastructure authored by PA-IPL.
- Continue to work toward a fracking and pipeline infrastructure MORALtorium in Pennsylvania.
- Expand our interfaith connections on climate justice issues.
- Explore efforts to reach more UU youth.
- Incorporate a racial justice perspective to the work of our environmental justice team.
- Support a federal carbon fee & dividend, as proposed by Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
- Encourage churches / individuals to divest from fossil fuels.