Social Justice and Social Action Efforts
of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff


UUCOC Social Justice Ministry Logo

"Love is the doctrine of this church and service is its prayer."

Join our discussions of Social Action and Social Justice issues in our forum.
Registration is reguired, but all activists are welcome!
Please drop an email to webmaster@oakcliffuu.org to arrange for access.
Sorry for the hassle, but there are just too many forum spammers out there!


it gets better logo

We Stand on the Side of Love!
Please check out our "It Gets Better" Project Page!

The UUCOC Social Justice Ministry meets the second Sunday of every month from 12:15-1:15pm in the Hope building. Our meetings are open to the public and people of all faith traditions are welcome.

The UUCOC has a long-standing commitment to a just and equitable society. We are dedicated to social justice as part of our church life, and with the actions we take in our personal lives and the greater community.

We encourage one another and our community to "Stand on the Side of Love" whenever and wherever injustice is present. As stated by our Minister Mark Walz, "whenever the world is cleaved in two between love and fear, we must choose love."

It is out of love for our country that we work to make it more fair. It is through abiding love for all people that we speak to amplify the voices of those who are hurting or oppressed. Our love for this planet and the life it supports urges us to take actions to repair it and protect our environment.

Through the efforts of our Social Justice Ministry and individual members we are involved in addressing a diversity of issues. We are working to further the principles of our faith, including peace, non-violence, social justice, social service, and respect for our environment. The UUCOC community is committed to fulfilling UU principles through direct service, and through work toward social change.

According to the UUA there are five types of social justice action:

1. SERVICE:

The purpose of social service is to meet the needs of persons in distress.

Examples: collecting money, donating food or clothing, tutoring, sheltering the homeless, programs for senior citizens, food programs, youth clubs, hospitals

2. EDUCATION:

The purpose of social education is to educate people about the importance of a social issue. The goal is to inform people about the aspects of the issues and also interpret the issue within the context of liberal religious values.

Examples: Public meetings, workshops, resolutions, drama, public forums, worship services and sermons.

3. WITNESS:

The purpose of social witness is to make public by word or deed the convictions of an individual or organization regarding a particular issue.

Examples: Participating in demonstrations, vigils, and marches, writing letters to the editor, passing resolutions, communicating to the wider community through press releases and/or press conferences, organizing petition campaigns, changing our lifestyles

4. ADVOCACY:

The purpose of advocacy is to work through the legislative process to impact public policy.

Examples: Visiting elected representatives in a delegation, writing letters to elected officials, giving testimony at public hearings.

5. COMMUNITY ORGANIZING:

The purpose of community organizing is to participate in the process by which decisions are made in places of power. The focus is on the power of institutional structures and how that power is used. This approach is based on the recognition that individuals have little power to change their situations without the support of groups who know how to organize and influence power.

Examples: Developing a strong organization, influencing policy and decision-makers and holding them accountable, empowering people so they can achieve self-determination



The Social Justice Ministry has an ongoing interest in hearing project ideas from the community, and in finding ways to partner with other organizations to foster social and environmental justice. A number of projects our congregation is involved in are listed below.

Please also check out our Links page for many websites of interest to our Social Justice Ministry members.

First Tuesday Social Action Film Festival

CoSponsored by the Dallas Peace Center



Link to a Pegasus News Article on the Film Festival
Check out Dee Stofko's Article:
"Oak Cliff church putting on social film series"
on Pegasus News.


The First Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm the UUCOC hosts free screenings of socially-relevant films followed by a community discussion, which often includes actions we can take for each issue. Films are shown on the large screen in the sanctuary and are always free, including the popcorn and soft drinks! Donations are accepted to cover the cost of our license agreement and the purchase of new films.

Please visit our Film Festival page for details on this month's featured film.

Events for North Texas


Keep an eye on this space for special events and activities in the North Texas area and sponsored by the Social Action Ministry and other Social Action & Justice Organizations:

Click Here to Deliver this RSS feed to your own Desktop
 








Member Spotlight


How the Social Justice Ministry's First Tuesday Film Festival Changed My Life
- By Dee Stofko

First of all let me say, my life needed changing. After several mind-numbing years of raising three kids - now all safely ensconced in college - it was time to start paying more attention, living more responsibly, being more compassionate. The UUCOC's First Tuesday Film Festival helped shape the new me.

Since watching, "The World According to Monsanto", "Sustainable Table", and "Peaceable Kingdom", I have become vegetarian. I have been made aware of factory farms - cows, pigs and chickens living in close, dark, unsanitary quarters, shot full of antibiotics, being fed GMO-corn to fatten them up quickly which, in turn, has fattened us up. More importantly, I have learned how to eat healthier by eating organic; to be more environmentally conscious by buying locally; and to make my voice heard through emails, calls and letters when my government does something that I don't like.

"An Inconvenient Truth" and "11th Hour" awakened me to how my choices were destroying our planet. My family now recycles, composts, uses organic fertilizer and organic household cleaners. We have changed our electric supplier to one which uses wind and solar sources. We have traded our gas guzzlers for a diminutive Yaris and a Hybrid Prius that averages 45 miles per gallon.

"At The Death House Door" nudged me to join the "Coalition for Texans Against the Death Penalty" which keeps its members apprised when letters to the Governor and Board of Pardons and Paroles for Clemency or requests for Stays of Execution might help. I believe we were instrumental in the Supreme Court's decision to review the death penalty case against Hank Skinner.

Other films included "China Blue" which taught me about the deplorable conditions of Chinese blue jean sweatshops. We now search for fair-trade, union-made, or cooperative-made clothing. "The Two Towns of Jasper," "Reel Bad Arabs," and "The Canary Effect" opened my eyes even wider to racial and social injustice. I made calls to my Senators, Congresswoman and other Democrats to help get the Healthcare legislation passed so all Americans have an equal opportunity to be healthy. "Rethink Afghanistan" helped me reshape my thoughts about U.S. involvement in that country and become a true advocate for peace.

There were other films I saw and there will be other films to come that will continue to change who I am. I like the person I am becoming more than the person I was. To change the world we must first change ourselves. I will gladly continue going to the First Tuesday Film Festival at the Oak Cliff Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff and I urge you to do the same. You might just like the new you.





Labyrinth Walk Coffee House (LWCH)

The Labyrinth Walk Coffee House is held the fourth Saturday evening eight months of the year. We showcase talented musicians in an intimate setting with excellent acoustics for a unique concert experience. Fair trade and organic coffee is available for purchase, as well as soft drinks, tea, and a tasty variety of pastries.

Visit our website at www.labyrinthwalkcoffeehouse.com for schedule details and to purchase tickets online. Discounts are available for students and UUCOC members. The LWCH proudly offers the Williams Sound Personal PATM listening system for the convenience of those needing hearing assistance.

All proceeds from the LWCH are used to provide entertainment and support local charities.

Our 2010 season beneficiary is The Family Place, the largest family violence service provider in the Dallas area. Please click The Family Place logo to visit their website and support their efforts to end family violence.





Photograph of folks clearing space for a compost pile as part of our Green Sanctuary Project

Clearing space for a Compost Pile as
part of our Green Sanctuary Project

Green Sanctuary


We have begun our journey to become a "Green" Church and are actively working on raising environmental awareness within our membership and community. The UUA's Green Sanctuary Project involves an extensive process to "green" every aspect of church life, as well as work to bring envoronmental justice to our community. We are implementing programs to control our environmental impact and help educate ourselves and others on what can be done to preserve the resources of this planet.

Look for our regular recycling bins in both buildings, and bring in your old printer cartridges and cell phones for the recycling box in the foyer. You can find more information on our Green Sanctuary Project here.




Welcoming Congregation


In November 2005 we were officially recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association as being a "Welcoming Congregation." This means that the UUCOC underwent a voluntary effort to become more welcoming to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. The process involved a series of educational events, organizational assessment, and community outreach. We continue to address inequities for gay, lesbian and transgender people as part of our ongoing justice work.




Rev. Mark Walz addresses a peace rally in Dallas

Rev. Mark Walz speaks at a rally in downtown Dallas
to end the Iraq war.

Dallas Area Interfaith



The UUCOC congregation voted in November of 2007 to join the Dallas Area Interfaith Association; a group of 60 congregations in the Dallas metropolitan area. This allows us to partner with a broad coalition of religious organizations working on local issues of importance. DAI makes it easy to step in and get involved in a number of issues that affect our community.



Oak Cliff Churches for Emergency Aid (OCCEA)


This is a collective effort with many of the churches in the Oak Cliff area working together to meet the emergency needs of persons living in Oak Cliff. By combining resources, OCCEA is able to distribute food, personal items and financial aid to many people. Referrals are made to service providers who can help with long-term needs.

OCCEA is located in the Oak Cliff Presbyterian Church at 6000 S. Hampton. Their telephone number is 214 943-7757. Click here to visit their website. Volunteers are always welcome!



School of the Americas Watch


The Social Justice Ministry of the UUCOC and the Dallas Peace Center have sponsored trips to the annual November The School of the Americas (SOA) Watch rally and vigil as part of our ongoing work for human rights.

Our representatives at the 2007 SOA Watch


Located at Fort Benning, Georgia, and renamed as the "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation" in 2001, SOA is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers whose graduates have consistently used their skills to wage war against their own people. The mission of SOA Watch, as a nonviolent movement that stands in solidarity with people of Latin America, is to close the SOA/WHINSEC and change the oppressive U.S. foreign policy that the SOA represents.



Congregational Social Justice Resolutions


2009: Our church passed a Medical Marijuana resolution by a unanimous vote of the congregation.

We believe that licensed health care providers should not be punished for recommending the medical use of marijuana to seriously ill people, and seriously ill people should not be subjected to criminal sanctions for using medical marijuana if their health care provider has told the patient that such use is likely to be beneficial.

Current work on passing a Texas Medical Marijuana law is being done by Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care.


2009: Our church passed an Anti-Sweatshop Resolution by a unanimous vote of the congregation.

This was a resolution to encourage the Dallas City government to pledge to avoid sweatshop garments when purchasing their uniforms. Current work on Sweatshops is being done by Sweat-Free Communities. They help communities, governments, churches, schools, etc., develop sweat-free policies.





As a religious community we abide by all IRS Guidelines for non-profits, which are: IRS Guidelines and Congregations: The Three Rules

1. No Limits on Advocacy and Education (activities that raise awareness on a given issue but don't encourage the public to support /oppose specific legislation).

2. Narrow Limit on Lobbying (advocating for or against specific pieces of legislation).

3. Total Limit on Partisan Politics (anything that advocates for or against candidates or political parties





UUCOC Rainbow Chalice Logo

3839 W. Kiest Blvd.

Dallas, Texas 75233
(214) 337-2429

OakCliffUU Site Map


Sunday Services: 10:00am

¡Se alquila!

UUCOC Vespers Logo

Join us for
Vespers with a UU twist!
Click logo for details and scheduled events.


First Tuesday Social Action Film Festival

Labyrinth Walk CoffeeHouse Logo

A member of the
North Texas Unitarian
Universalist Congregations
(NTUUC)


Follow Us On
Follow UUCOC on Twitter

Join Us On
Follow the UUCOC on Facebook

Share This:

goodsearch logo
Web This Site



Social Action & Justice
Social Justice at UUCOC

NorthTexasUU News

Click to sign up for RSS feed
subscribe to this rss feed


Green Web Hosting! This site hosted by DreamHost.

Amazon.com
Customer?

amazon.com home page

Click and a percentage of
your purchases will help our
fundraising efforts!



Donations to UUCOC:



Please use this button for
fulfillment of Pledges: