Social Action Committees, Teams, and Task Forces at First Parish
At First Parish in Concord, you are CONNECTED to social action through vibrant Church groups, collaborating with neighboring UU churches and interfaith and cross-sector groups. You are also CONNECTED through our greater UU local, national, and international agencies in coalition with sectarian and non-sectarian networks. As we seek to dismantle oppressive systems of white supremacy, we support local partners and follow, allowing the people most affected by injustice to provide us with direction.
SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEES, TEAMS AND TASK FORCES
At First Parish in Concord
All who share our UU values are welcome to participate, agreeing to convenants of cooperative endeavor. Contact leaders to learn more or show up to your first meeting in your respectful listening and learning mode. View our Church Calendar. Subscribe to FP Weekly for details about Social Action Opportunities. Attend 10:00 a.m. COVID-safe Sunday services where social action is a part of worship. Find actions and articles updated weekly on our Facebook page.
Advocates for Women’s Empowerment (AWE)
Leaders: Suzie Weaver
Meets: Contact Suzie at email@example.com for date and time of next meeting and also if you wish to subscribe to the AWE newsletter.
AWE formed in response to a vote at the 2012 UU General Assembly, to support reproductive justice as a faith. Activities include: Advocacy at the Statehouse, marches, volunteering, educational events such as monthly feminist films, book discussions, and presentations. AWE is open to anyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, identity, faith, etc. We envision a world where all genders work to promote choices, access and agency, and to optimize women’s quality of life by removing social, economic, political and institutional barriers. AWE is a social action group dedicated to advancing women’s rights and improving their lives through advocacy, direct action and education.
Commission on Institutional Change (COIC)
The First Parish Commission on Institutional Change (COIC) was formed to:
- Assess congregational policies, practices and procedures for their alignment with our UU values of equity, inclusion, and diversity.
- To engage First Parish members, friends and staff in identifying opportunities for systemic change that will help FPC realize itself as a place of radical welcome and anti-oppression work.
- To recommend action(s) that serve to dismantle white supremacy within the culture, practice, policies and procedures within FPC.
To learn more about the COIC and to view regular updates, click here.
Leader: Suzie Weaver
First Parish is a Welcoming Congregation for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identification or expression. The Diversity Committee builds community awareness with films, speakers, and participation in the annual Boston Gay Pride Parade.
We meet monthly on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm via Zoom. Please see FP Weekly in the week prior to the meeting for the Zoom link, or contact Suzie Weaver to be added to our mailing list and receive notices of our meetings.
Leader: Gail Kharidia
Meets: email the leader (above) the next date and time of the monthly meeting.
Join First Parish in Concord’s Environmental Team (ET): contact Gail Kharidia, Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, to attend an ET meeting, or to get on the email lists for Environmental Education, Personal Actions, or Legislation and Advocacy. Meetings are held monthly. See FP Weekly for upcoming dates.
First Parish in Concord is an accredited Green Sanctuary congregation, but our work has just begun. A Greening the Campus initiative is currently working on moving our multiple buildings off of fossil fuel heating and insulating.
The 7th UU Principle affirms our “respect for the interdependent web of existence, of which we are a part.” We “honor all beings” and work for a greater appreciation of our interconnections with the natural world. How and where we live, work, play, and pray impact all beings, now and for future generations.
ET provides leadership in translating this principle into individual and community action. We work closely with UU Mass Action, MassPowerForward and a regional group of neighboring UU churches. Email Robert Andrews or Gail Kharidia to be added to our listserv and join the team.
Immigration Justice Task Force
Leaders: Laurie Van Loon
Immigration is an extremely complex issue. It is also a moral one. Extreme violence and a changing climate in other countries have led to increased flight to the US for safety at the same time as domestic political forces are denying access to entry, and treating as criminals those already here. Federal policies have denied asylum seekers their rights, forced migrants to remain in Mexico in dangerous and life threatening conditions, and separated families including minor children at the US Mexican border.
The First Parish Immigration Justice Task Force convened in early 2017 and since then we …
- Act – We call on all members of our group and First Parish in Concord to show up for justice and take action in this time of crisis. Together we confront the injustices of our immigration system.
- Collaborate – We identify and collaborate with other Immigration Justice groups, formal or informal, faith and non-faith based groups, as leaders, followers and supporters. We regularly lift up these groups as share-the-plate recipients.
- Educate – We educate ourselves and our fellow parishioners about the immigration crisis in our country and legislation that pushes back against racism and xenophobia expressed against our immigrant neighbors in Massachusetts and beyond.
At the beginning of every church year the team updates our Strategic Goals in order to reset priorities and focus on our resources and energy.
Highlights of upcoming events can be found here!
Racial Justice Action Group
Meets: the first Tuesday evening of each month
The Racial Justice Action Group is committed to increasing racial justice through deepening our own understanding of racism, white supremacy, and white privilege, and taking action to support communities of color who are leading the struggle for racial justice. RJAG takes action to:
- Realign congregational goals, mission, and decision-making processes to support racial justice.
- Continue and deepen a spiritually-grounded education and change process about race and racial justice.
- Create opportunities for more interactions for congregants across racial and cultural lines, including increasing the congregation’s ability to embrace more diversity.
- Support activists and activism in the congregation in the service of racial justice.
We welcome all who are interested in joining this effort.
Reclaim Our Democracy
Leader: Fred Van Deusen
Meets at various times during the year depending on the projects and events we are working on, and the availability of our members. All those who support democracy are welcome to attend our meetings. Please contact email@example.com if you are interested in learning more about our team or participating in our meetings.
Reclaim Our Democracy is an inclusive, collaborative, multi-partisan movement to limit and control the corrupting influence of money on elections and politicians. Our goal is to reclaim our democratic rights as citizens of the United States of America to have a government that truly represents and supports the needs and desires of all people.
Women’s Parish Association
Membership to the Women’s Parish Association (WPA) is open to any member of First Parish in Concord, who is sympathetic to our mission. Contact Membership chair Lois Whitney firstname.lastname@example.org, for information or to join us. WPA events are published in FP Weekly.
The WPA was founded in 1881, as an independent organization, at a time when women had no voice in First Parish governance. We have a broad-based mission and strong roots in social action. Then and now, we have championed women’s rights and civil liberties and fought poverty locally and worldwide. The WPA raises funds to support social advocacy work. We are intergenerational and collaborate with other FPC social action groups. The welfare and elevation of women and children, support for First Parish itself and the broader Unitarian Universalist community, including our Partner Church in Transylvania, are our priorities.
The WPA board meets monthly at First Parish and conducts its annual meeting each fall. All are welcome to our programs throughout the year. We are grateful to the many volunteers who work with us on community events.