The Social Justice Coordinating Committee (SJCC) at People’s Church is charged with facilitating and coordinating the efforts of the congregation to be actively involved in living our values in the community and the world.
Specifically, the SJCC does the following:
– Identifies to the entire congregation and the community that social justice activities are a vital aspect of our Church life.
– Provides a social justice structure and process for members of the congregation to use in creating and joining community service and social justice projects.
– Provides an avenue for new members, who bring to People’s an interest in social justice problems, the opportunity for participation within the church in social justice activities.
The SJCC is composed of 6-9 members who serve three year staggered terms which can be served consecutively. A board appointed liaison serves on the committee and the committee selects it’s own chairperson.
The SJCC plans for monthly meetings and special meetings of the SJCC for the purpose of carrying out it’s charge. They provide technical, financial and other resources to the church community service or social action committees reviewed and supported by the SJCC. The develop fund-raising projects to meet their goals. They develop relationship with outside community groups with goals consistent with that of People’s Church, e.g. ISAAC. They also provide annual reports, budgets and consult with the Board for advice and consent when appropriate.
Lincoln School Partnership
The People’s Church Partnership with Lincoln School continues its volunteer involvement in mentoring an dreading programs. Twelve of People’s members have been involved in a variety of helping roles. The congregation contributed almost $1000 at a Sunday special collection allowing 20 teachers to receive $50 each to use for classroom supplies. Also, a photo display of our mentors helping students was placed on the art wall and at Lincoln.
ISAAC – Interfaith Strategy for Advocacy and Action in the Community
ISAAC is an interfaith congregation-based community organizing network in Kalamazoo County working together to build a more just community. ISAAC is an affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation. The SJCC continues to support ISAAC social action and fund raising activities through the People’s Church ISAAC Core Team. The Core Team works with People’s minister to coordinate the congregation’s involvement in ISAAC and communicates ISAAC activities to the congregation. Core team meetings are called as needed. New members are needed for the Core Team. The chair of the committee is Andrew Alm.
ISAAC activities are announced to the congregation by newsletter, Sunday order of service and via the church website. All are welcome to participate in ISAAC activities, issue task forces, and public meetings. Two People’s members serve on the ISAAC Leadership Council. People’s members continue to be active on ISAAC social action committees, namely Affordable Housing, Education and Early Childhood Education, Youth Violence and Drug Prevention and Transportation plus the annual Issues Forum and the Public Meeting. People’s received an Outstanding Support Award from ISAAC in 2013 (third year in a row).
ISAAC Leadership Board Meetings are open and held on 2nd Tuesdays 7:00-8:30 PM First Congregational Church Basement
To contact ISAAC directly: call 269-341-4213, email email@example.com or go to website at isaackalamazoo.org
SJCC continues to participate with the weekly Community re-entry support group for ex-offenders and has developed special helping relationships with some of the participants. The Transformation Society has secured a resident house.
SJCC held several special collections throughout the most recent church year for selected social programs being impacted by increased community need and funding cuts donating almost $10,000! These included the following:
- Lincoln School
- Afghan Asylum Seekers Resettlement
- Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry
- Ministry with Community
- Open Doors
- Douglas Community Association
- Kalamazoo Drop In Child Care Center
- Disability Network
- Red Birth Green
Loaves & Fishes
The SJCC sponsored two special food collections for Loaves & Fishes as well as continuing donations in the lobby. Over 6500 pounds of food has been donated by People’s this year.
The SJCC continues to conduct special needs collections for organizations such as the YWCA Domestic Assault Program as well as contributing towards Peace & Nature Camp scholarships.
The SJCC is a contributing member of the Michigan UU Social Justice Network.
If you are interested in joining the SJCC, contact Ann Feldmeier.