312 FILLMORE STREET, STATEN ISLAND, NY 10301 PHONE: 718-447-2204
social Justice/BLACK LIVES MATTER
Social Justice is at the core of all Unitarian Universalist Congregations. We are called to put our faith into action to build a world that is just, peaceful and sustainable. Toward that end, The Unitarian Church of Staten Island has addressed issues in our local, national and international communities, including:
AT UCSI Social Justice TAKES SEVERAL FORMS
Service and Giving
The purpose of social service is to meet the needs of persons in distress. For examples, by sheltering the homeless, collecting money, donating food or clothing. Often social justice service is done in partnership with those being served and/or supporting or partnering with other organizations.
The purpose of social education is to teach people about the importance of a social issue. The goal is to inform people about the aspects of the issue and also interpret the issue within the context of liberal religious values. For example, through reading groups, speakers, discussion groups, worship services and sermons.
The purpose of social witness is to make public by word or deed the convictions of an individual or organization regarding a particular issue. Examples: Participating in demonstrations, vigils, and marches, writing letters, passing resolutions.
The purpose of advocacy is to work through the legislative process in order to impact public policy, as well as to contact officials in a variety of other social institutions that deal with the public in order to alter their policies the affect them.
BLACK LIVES MATTER STATEMENT
On Sunday, May 22, 2016 at noon, following our 10:45 AM worship service, The Unitarian Church of Staten Island put on display a banner saying “Black Lives Matter,” following an overwhelming congregational vote to do so at a recent meeting. “The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly last summer asked all congregations to consider support for Black Lives Matter,” said Reverend Darrell Berger. “We feel this action aligns with our Unitarian Universalist principles of the inherent worth and dignity of every person; and justice, equity and compassion in human relations. It also follows our congregation’s history. We were founded by Abolitionists when anti-slavery was a bold and unpopular position.”
The congregation hopes this will be only the beginning of a deeper outreach into the community for justice and equality, partnering with organizations and creating public programs with similar goals. The congregation also wishes to reach out to local law enforcement people with compassion and understanding.
This effort continues the strong commitment to social justice at the Unitarian Church of Staten Island, since its founding in 1852. Many of its original members were Abolitionists, including George Curtis, for whom the high school is named, and the family of Robert Gould Shaw, who led the first black regiment in the Civil War.