Now is the time, my friends, this is THE moment. Or if not the ONLY moment, it is a moment not to be missed. If you care about the future of social justice work here at UUCA, if you want to see energetic and engaged programming, and if you want to participate in making this program the best it can be, do NOT miss the Earth & Social Justice  Ministry meeting on January 27 at 6:30pm.  I am so excited to invite each and every one of you to this essential meeting about our work for freedom, justice, and love. We will gather that night to give an update on the work that has been done so far, and to hear your ideas and help you find ways to get involved!

Initially, 15-20 people participated in the Doing Democracy Study Group, which used the book Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Justice Movements, by Bill Moyer (not to be confused with Bill Moyers!) to learn about social movements and organizing. The model is straightforward, in particular suggesting that there are four roles for individuals in social movements, and eight stages of the movements themselves. We explored the question are you a Reformer, a Citizen, a Rebel, or a Change Agent? What role is most comfortable for you? What role might you want to try on? Discussions were lively and engaged, helping people to articulate ways that movements can be more efficient and effective.

We also used the roles and the stages as a way to assess our congregational social justice work. Four members of the study group (Gay Lambirth, Tom Blanford, Cecilia Rawlins, and Jim Lee) agreed to serve as a temporary Core Team for up to six months. They are charged with assessing our current systems and structures, and making recommendations for how we might move forward as a congregation. They will present some of their ideas at the meeting next week. If you are interested in seeing the notes from the final class session, you can see them here.

These folks, as well as the other participants in the study group, have done some great work learning the model and sharing their ideas and observations. The ongoing work of creating a vibrant social justice program, however, is the work of the whole congregation. Over the past year, you have given feedback to the Board that you want broader and deeper engagement in social justice work. The Core Team is working to recommend some adjustments and fixes to our system, but ultimately, this work can only be successful if it is taken up by each and every one of you. This is the moment to show up and participate, to have your ideas heard, and to find a way forward together.

I hope to see you there.