Here at Old Ship we strive to bring the values of mind and heart into the work of our hands. Our shared social values are expressed in Old Ship's third purpose, which affirms our intention to "act for ecological and social justice," and by Unitarian Universalist Principles which call us to work for "justice, equity, and compassion in human relations," and toward "the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all."
Our efforts are supported by the Social Justice Council whose mission it is to explore opportunities for the Old Ship community that sustain social justice programs or initiatives on a local, nation, and global basis.
Homelessness in MA and in our nation is at a crisis level and continues to grow among children, youth, and adults. Factors that can contribute to a person/family becoming homeless include poor education, inadequate job skills, low wages, scarcity of affordable day care, scarcity of affordable housing, and issues with domestic violence, disability, mental illness, and addiction. This is a human rights crisis, and our study group on homelessness three years ago concluded that there are unjust laws and practices that punish people for being poor and homeless.
Hunger and Food Security: Along with homelessness, hunger is a chronic symptom of poverty. The causes for hunger are myriad and complex, and have changed over time. Political, economic and geographic factors layer in to create less equitable access to affordable food for some in our society.
Our UU Commitment to Social Justice: Recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of every human being, we as Old Ship Unitarian Universalists agree that access to affordable habitable housing and to affordable nutritious food are fundamental human rights in a just society.
Social Justice Council
Ministry: Serving Others
Council Members: Brenda Black co-chair, Ginny Perelson co-chair, Belinda Arams, Davalene Cooper (UUSC rep), Carol Valentine, Patti Smith, Diane Morrison, Florence Noonan, Kate Philbin, Dave Murphy, Mary Murphy, Brittany Mangini, Mary Sofis, MJ Schultz
This has been another active and productive year for the SJC focusing on the issues of Homelessness and Food Insecurity.
1. The annual Social Justice potluck dinner was held in early January. The two speakers were Donna Friedman from the Center for Social Policy at UMass Boston and Libby Hayes from Homes for Families. The topic of their presentation was Family Homelessness: Moving toward Permanent Solutions. The event was well-attended.
2. Two Sunday forums were held:
4. Every week, information about homelessness or food insecurity was printed in the Order of Service.
We welcome ideas and suggestions for projects and are ready to support all who are ready to tackle this social justice issue with us.
The Social Justice Council welcomes new members who would like to plan and support Old Ship's social justice activities.
Contact: Brenda Black, firstname.lastname@example.org or
Ginny Perelson, email@example.com
Social Outreach Committee
This 5-member committee, appointed by the Board of Trustees, considers requests for grants to outside organizations from our Social Outreach Endowment Fund and makes grant recommendations to the Parish for vote at our annual meeting in May.
In the recent past grant awards have been made to Wellspring Multi-Service Center,
Holly Hill Farm, Father Bill's Place, St. Rock Haiti Foundation, and South Shore
Friends of the Homeless.
Click here for the Social Outreach Grant Application Form.
Opportunities: become a committee member, coordinate a grant request
Contact: Any of the current members - Joan Bledsoe, Maggie
Merrill, Mary Sofis, Susannah Thomas, Heather Thomson
Religious Education: Social responsibility for all ages
The religious education program is designed to encourage our young people to develop a sense of social responsibility and to take action to influence change.
Our young people help with projects sponsored by the larger Old Ship community; this year the church is aiming to improve “Access To Education” with programs helping The Mather School, UU Urban Ministry, Roxbury Presbyterian Church’s Social Impact Center, Brockton BCC Afterschool Program and Wellspring Multi-Service Center. Other volunteer opportunities include : Father Bill’s Meals Teams, Growing Vegetables for Father Bill’s (at Holly Hill Farm), Interfaith Food Pantry, and Wellspring Multi-Service Center.
The children and youth also initiate projects and activities that improve our world and the health and well-being of its inhabitants.
For almost four years The Old Ship Youth Group has been making/administering dozens of microloans through Kiva, an online lending platform that allows individuals in the developed world to loan to small business people in the developing world. Other recent projects include: an annual bike drive for Bikes Not Bombs, a Tie-Dye Fundraiser to raise funds for Camp Wowayanke in Rosebud, South Dakota, a rebuild trip to post-Katrina New Orleans and a mission/service/education trip to Washington DC.
Beverly Tricco, DRE
Trish McAleer, Chair of Children's RE