Live Oak Social Justice Ministry exists to:
- Educate our congregation and our community in areas of social concerns.
- Work with, and support individuals and groups dealing with social problems, injustices and oppression.
- Witness and advocate for ways and means to rectify social injustices, and thereby help transform the world.
Our Social Justice Ministry members are people from our congregation (members and friends) who are passionately interested in social justice issues. Ministry members may be invited or choose to come on their own. The Chair of the Ministry must be a member of Live Oak.
Our Priorities for this 2018-2019 year are:
- Racial Justice to include:
- Educating ourselves and recognizing our biases
- Beloved Conversations: Meditations on Race and Ethnicity is a curriculum for exploring the role of race and ethnicity in individual and congregational lives. Two facilitators and 10 LO participants will join with UU churches at a retreat in February and then continue to explore these issues at 8 sessions at Live Oak. The group will decide on ways to bring this work to the whole congregation
- Parts of the 2018 UUA Congregational Study Action Issue: Undoing Intersectional White Supremacy
- Confronting issues of white supremacy, white fragility, gun violence and income inequality in ourselves, our community and our country.
- Climate Justice to include:
- Witnessing and advocating for clean energy and other climate issues
- Finding a way to get solar energy used at Live Oak
- Educating ourselves about climate justice and acting when appropriate
Currently our Social Justice Ministry has several ongoing projects:
- Every week we take a food offering for the children and families of Goleta Headstart.
- Every two months we purchase and prepare dinner for the people at Transition House.
- Once a month we cook and serve lunch to LGBTQ Elders.
- Two times per month we donate half of our Sunday offering to a local non-profit or a Social Justice related Unitarian Universalist organization, including the California UU Justice Ministry.
- We support and advocate for gun safety to help reduce gun violence.
- We are a Welcoming Congregation and support the LGBTQ community.
- From Nov 1 through March 31 each year, we cook and serve warm meals for people without homes every Thursday at the Warming Center in Isla Vista.
Live Oak Social Justice Ministry works with other interfaith groups and South Coast community groups to help build a just and compassionate world. Among groups we work with Interfaith Sanctuary Alliance, CLUE, Pacific Pride, Freedom Warming Centers, and many others.
SJM Policy of Peaceful Presence October 18, 2017
Live Oak Social Justice Ministry members strongly support “showing up” in our community to show our support, encouragement and promotion for social justice actions or to express our dismay, anger or sadness at actions that break the connections between us.
Live Oak UU Congregation holds the value of peaceful presence at rallies, vigils, marches, etc. We will not use violence to further our values.
Live Oak UU Congregation works on priorities from the Unitarian Universalist Association as well.
The current Congregational Study Action Issue (CSAI) In June 2018 the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association adopted a four year study action issue of “Undoing Intersectional White Supremacy.” We will be working on this throughout the next two years and perhaps longer.
At General Assembly there were 3 Actions of Immediate Witness passed. These AIWs are: “End Family Separation and Detention of Asylum Seekers and abolish ICE“; “Dismantle Predatory Medical Care Practices in Prisons and End Prisons for Profit“; and “We are all Related: Solidarity NOW with Indigenous Water Protectors.” We hope to find ways to study and advocate for change in these areas this year.