UUCNC’s Vision and Mission statements reflect our commitment to social action.
The Social Action Committee (SAC) encourages individuals to participate in activities in our local and global communities which promote social justice and opportunity for all people. Committee meetings are open to all who are interested. When we return to in-person worship, displays at Sunday morning worship services give individuals an opportunity to learn more about a variety of issues, both local and global.
When circumstances allow us to gather in person, the SAC invites proposals for one-year-long, congregation-wide social action projects. Using a ranking voting system, the top one or two projects are selected as our social responsibility agenda for the church year. The most recent such project was collaborating with other area churches to host weekly meetings of Hope for Today, a Nar-Anon Family Group, for families and friends of those suffering with addiction.
UUCNC is a Welcoming Congregation
This designation underscores our commitment as a congregation to work hard to make sure lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are full members of our faith community. We strive for radical inclusion, creating spaces that honor every part of our identities, backgrounds, and experiences.
Alex Kapitan, LGBTQ and Multicultural Programs Administrator in the Office of Multicultural Ministries at the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) sent congratulations on our taking this powerful step in 2013, doing collective work to educate ourselves on LGBTQ issues, and committing ourselves to vital ongoing work in this area. Alex praised our dedication to increasing our welcome of people with marginalized sexual orientations and/or gender identities.
Many UUCNC members and friends have signed this Statement on Racial Justice:
We, the undersigned members and friends of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Northern Chautauqua, believe that Black Lives Matter. The suffering caused by racism must end if we want to create fair and loving communities. We strive to end racial discrimination, starting within ourselves and moving out into the world around us. We advocate for eliminating racist policies such as mass imprisonment and attacks on voting rights. We support racial justice and efforts to build a peaceful, restorative culture, where race has no bearing on economic opportunities or legal protections. We acknowledge that white supremacy devalues and dehumanizes people of color. Therefore, we commit ourselves to the difficult work of personal and societal change as allies under the leadership of people of color.
Share the Plate
Share the Plate, held each month, is a way to demonstrate our commitment to nonprofit organizations whose actions are consistent with our principles and living traditions. As of Summer 2023, congregants had donated over $35,000 to these causes!
The purpose is two-fold: to inform the congregation of the work of the organization and to make a financial contribution in the name of UUCNC. We often invite a representative of the organization to speak briefly, to display literature and to answer questions following the worship service.
Please make your check payable to UUCNC and indicate “Share the Plate” on the memo line. Or donate now to this month’s recipient organization at our secure PayPal link: https://tinyurl.com/DonateUUCNC.
Since 2009, we have “shared the plate” with numerous recipient organizations. Here’s a list of over 60 organizations that have received Share the Plate funds.
Fair Trade Products
For many years, fair-trade coffee, tea and chocolate from Equal Exchange were sold following Sunday services. This international program empowers farmers and consumers, supports small farmer co-ops, and uses sustainable farming methods. Proceeds from purchases by individuals provided the coffee served during social hours and at congregational events. We do not currently offer Equal Exchange products, but we encourage congregants to purchase fair trade items from other sources. The Fredonia Presbyterian Church sells Equal Exchange products at their church and at the Fredonia Farmers’ Market. Products are also available online from the Fair Trade Project, the retail shop of the UU Service Committee.
UU Social Justice Statements and Study-Action Process
At each annual General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Assocation (UUA) of congregations, delegates from across the nation determine denominational statements and actions on social justice. Learn about the Congregational Study/Action process.
At General Assembly 2021, the following were adopted:
- Statement of Conscience: Undoing Systemic White Supremacy: A Call to Prophetic Action
- Action of Immediate Witness: Defend and Advocate with Transgender, Nonbinary, and Intersex Communities
- Action of Immediate Witness: The COVID-19 Pandemic: Justice. Healing. Courage.
- Action of Immediate Witness: Stop Voter Suppression and Partner for Voting Rights and a Multiracial Democracy
UU Service Committee
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a human rights organization powered by grassroots collaboration. In more than a dozen countries throughout the world, UUSC fosters social justice and works toward a world free from oppression. UUSC’s innovative approaches and measurable impact are grounded in the moral belief that all people have inherent power, dignity, and rights. Support for UUSC comes from individuals and congregations, not from the Unitarian Universalist Association.
UUSC has recognized our congregation for our support of the mission to advance human rights and social justice around the world:
- The Creating Justice Banner Society Award celebrates that at least 25% of our congregation’s members are also members of UUSC.
- The James Luther Adams Award celebrates UUCNC’s commitment to justice and human rights by our budgeted gift contributing $1 per congregation member.
Welcome a Guest at Your Table
Guest at Your Table is an annual fundraising and education program that supports the human rights work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee in the U.S. and around the world. Members and friends of our congregation participate for several weeks at the end of each calendar year, but contributions may still be made through the following June.
Please specify “UU Congregation of Northern Chautauqua” when you make a GAYT donation online.*
Your tax deductible donation of $40 or more earns you and your family annual UUSC membership benefits. Donations of $150 or more are eligible to be matched by the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY.