Our vision statement closes with the words “We strive to transform our world.” Transforming the world is a bold aim and not one we take lightly. We believe that community is key to transformational work, and we yearn to build the Beloved Community that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke about. All our work is grounded in our values of social justice, and we engage deeply in the difficult work of changing systemic problems like racism and poverty.
As we do this transformative work, responding to the more immediate opportunities to serve is important, so our social action includes small but meaningful asks like providing diapers for undocumented children and food for the hungry, standing up for justice at demonstrations for voting rights or for Black Lives Matter, or standing with our Interfaith partners to help provide resources for immigrants and refugees.
The UUFA groups below are specifically concerned with Acting-for-Justice work.
The UUFA Social Action Committee (SAC) regularly meets on the first Sunday of each month. You are invited to attend this meeting to learn about how they make a difference locally and globally. In addition to programs listed below, SAC works in the Athens area to support UUA’s Side with Love and Love Resists initiatives. Below are local social action initiatives under the auspices of SAC. Find the link to join the meeting here.
UUFA voted to become a Welcoming Congregation in 1996. This designation affirms we welcome and respect all people, no matter whom one loves or what one’s gender identity or expression is. Straight, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual or Allies, and other Non-Heterosexual people are invited to participate in all aspects of congregational life. UUFA participates in Gay Pride weekends and parades and hosts occasional activities for the LGBTQIA+ community in Athens. Click here for details on the national UUA effort.
In 2020 and 2021 UUFA’s Welcoming Congregation Team has worked to help UUFA complete the renewal of our Welcoming Congregation status through UUA.
UUFA’s Alphabet Family invites people who identify anywhere on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum to gather for fun and fellowship, usually on the fourth Sunday afternoon of every month. Contact Ynza Morgan Star for information about the team and the family.
The Fellowship’s Racial Justice Team has worked on the congregation’s goal of engaging in dismantling white supremacy, with guidance from UUA through opportunities like the New Day Rising Conference and by reading such books as White Fragility. In 2017 the congregation adopted A Resolution: Racial Justice and Equity. Members have supported Black and Latinx Athenians through financial gifts to such organizations as the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement (AADM) and Dignidad Inmigrante en Athens and have participated in actions led by AADM and the Economic Justice Coalition.
For over a decade the Fellowship has been recognized as a Green Sanctuary Congregation by UUA. Through the years the Team met the requirements to create a wildlife habitat on our grounds, worked to decrease invasive plants, developed composting and recycling processes, and reduced energy use, most recently by working with donors to install solar panels on the roof. To learn more, contact Mark Williams.
The world is changing and our diets are changing too. The Food Justice Team explores the food revolution as we seek a compassionate, healthful, and delicious diet. The Team has presented programs on food justice such as Eating as a Spiritual Practice emphasizing a plant-based diet and has provided food for UUFA events. In addition, the group has joined UUFA Our Daily Bread volunteers to provide vegetable and fruit dishes to ODB guests. Learn more by contacting Kate Blane.
The Sanctuary Movement Team is a member of the Athens-area Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition (ISC) which works to protect and stand with immigrants. ISC is dedicated to offering hospitality, safety, and opportunities for all immigrants to participate fully in our shared community, regardless of their immigration status. Look for the monthly meeting of the ISC on the UUFA calendar. Contact Nancy MacNair to learn more.