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> Justice and Witness

Justice and Witness

Our justice and witness work covers a wide range of experiences.
Here are some examples:


Summer 2010 Immigration Worship and Study Resources

Here is a bilingual sample worship (as a Text Document, as a PDF Document) created by Rev. Jeanette DeLeon, a member of Grace Congregational Church and the Metropolitan Association.

If you wish to organize educational forums or nonviolent demonstrations in your local church and/or community, resources and information can be found at www.ucc.org/justice/.

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Join the Justice and Witness Listserv


I invite you to join a listserv developed and administered by the UCC Metro-Suffolk Association Committee on the Church and the Metropolitan Community.

The listserv is called UCC Metro-Suffolk Churches in Action , with an e-mail address of UCCMetroSuffolkChurchesinAction@yahoogroups.com. It is our hope that all of our Metro-Suffolk churches will participate, along with as many members as are interested.

Please send the e-mail addresses of everyone from your church who would like to be part of the listserv to Martha Gotwals , who is administering it for the Committee. Write her or have members contact her with their names and e-mail addresses at uccnymetro@aol.com. You may also e-mail her with questions about what postings would be appropriate.

Purpose of the listserv allow our churches and members to share information about justice and witness issues and events in which we are involved . These could include:

  • Forums, special speakers, workshops, Bible study and events
  • Demonstrations and other public witness activities
  • Legislation and public policy advocacy affecting the Metro-Suffolk community
  • Church or ecumenical services with a justice and witness emphasis
  • Model projects that could be replicated by other churches
  • Service programs such as soup kitchens, homeless shelters, etc.

Church involvement means that the event or action or issue is organized or endorsed by your church or that it involves a group of members. In other words, it should be viewed as part of your church's witness or ministry. Anything listed should be an activity which other UCC church members may attend, participate in or replicate . Because we all get so many e-mails, the listserv is for information-sharing only; it is not a forum for discussion.

The reason for a listserv, as opposed to developing a mailing list and sending out notices, is that anyone who is a member of the listserv can post issues and events on it. The listserv is private so that it cannot be used by people outside of the Metro-Suffolk Association. That's why you need to join through Martha.

Once Martha has your name, church and e-mail address, you will receive a confirmation that you have been added to the listserv. After that, you can post messages by putting UCCChurchesinAction@yahoogroups.com  in the subject line of your e-mail.

One of the things that is special about the UCC is our dedication to justice and witness in action and service. The listserv is intended to give our churches the opportunity to support each other and learn from each other in our activities and ministries that serve the metropolitan community. The committee and I look forward to your church's participation.

Michael Caine

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The Word Became Flesh and Occupied Us:

The Church and the 99 Percent
Metropolitan Association, New York Conference, United Church of Christ
Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday Observance - January 16, 2012
Judson Memorial Church, New York City
Reported by Elice Higginbotham
For the Committee on Church and the Metropolitan Community

Worship Order of Service

The reality of Occupy Wall Street and the involvement of houses of worship and people of faith in the movement, provided food for reflection for the approximately 100 participants who gathered on January 16 for the Metropolitan Association’s annual observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday holiday observance.

Planned and coordinated by the Association’s Committee on the Church and the Metropolitan Community, hosted by Judson Memorial Church in Manhattan, the event drew participants from a dozen Association congregations from Brooklyn, Manhattan, Nassau and Westchester.

Worship, provocative preaching, lively singing and a lifting up of social justice as a part of the Gospel are normative for “MLK Day” in the Metro Association. What added spice to the combination this year? Among others:

- Dr. Arnold Thomas of the Riverside Church, whose sermon theme, “Do We
Believe What We Say?” nudged participants to take seriously what the Gospel
says about “the 99 percent,” and ask ourselves whether we are truly dedicated
to doing what the Gospel says – as well as our responsibility to make the Gospel
message a reality for the society at large.
- A mix of participants beyond Metro churches added additional diversity to
the day; for example: members from two Reformed Church congregations
were present, including the members of The Milton Street Revival Band, who
provided music and accompaniment for the service; the Restaurant Opportunities
Center (an advocacy and empowerment association for restaurant workers), who
graciously – and voluntarily -- set out, served and cleaned up the buffet luncheon;
Auburn Theological Seminary; Occupy Faith.

The theme for the day lifted up the Occupy Wall Street movement and was chosen because the movement raises challenges to American society that have particular resonance for Christians and their institutions.

A slide montage by the Rev. Tom Martinez, illustrating the variety and vitality of Occupy Wall Street, opened the second half of the morning program. A panel of religious Occupy activists followed.

The Rev. Michael Ellick, Minister at Judson Church; CB Stewart, a student at Union Theological Seminary and community minister (intern) at Judson who served as a “protest chaplain” to occupiers in Zucotti Park; and Juan Carlos Ruiz, who works with the New Sanctuary Movement and with Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice in the South Bronx, each described and reflected on their experiences in the allied movement, Occupy Faith. Occupy Faith describes itself in its own website as:

“an inter-faith network of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Pagans, spiritual seekers and many other diverse traditions who find common inspiration in the hope-filled, change-oriented spirit of Occupy Wall Street…. of faith-based communities who share the vision of economic, social and environmental justice being called for by Occupy Wall Street…. This vision is founded upon the common tenets shared by all faiths: compassion, mercy, justice, forgiveness, love of neighbor, and the inherent dignity and value of all people. Our shared traditions and scriptures are clear: the oppression of many for the benefit of a few leaves us all in moral poverty…. We stand with all those who speak out for economic and social justice. Yet, Occupy Wall Street is a response not only to economic and social issues, but also to a deeply spiritual issue: a national ethos of callousness, greed and exploitation….”

Occupy Wall Street has been called an heir to the U.S. civil rights movement and a new embodiment of the themes of Dr. King’s ministry. Panelists noted that exaggerated economic inequality and the plight of “the 99 percent” call upon the consciences of Christians and the mission awareness of their churches in a way that can bring renewing power and meaning to what may feel like outdated or dying institutions.

An offering of $450.00 was collected during worship, and was divided equally between
Occupy Faith NYCElice Higginbotham
For the Committee on Church and the Metropolitan Community
and the United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, earmarked to enable other UCC congregations to engage with Occupy Faith in their own communities.

An offering of $450.00 was collected during worship, and was divided equally between Occupy Faith and the United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, earmarked to enable other UCC congregations to engage with Occupy Faith in their own communities.

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