The work of social justice is an essential part of the Unitarian Church of Sharon. Everyone is invited to participate in our social justice work and programming. Our Social Justice Committee meets monthly. Here are some of our current initiatives:
MainSpring House in Brockton: MainSpring House is both a homeless shelter and a place for people be be resettled into permanent housing. We have an ongoing commitment to MainSpring House to provide them with 100 bag lunches monthly (which we put together ourselves following a church service on one Sunday each month). We also collect toiletry items (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) for guests to use and we provide financial support through donations of supermarket gift cards in January each year.
Local Food Pantries: We have an ongoing commitment to help our local food pantries, particularly the one closest to us in Stoughton. We collect non-perishable food and deliver it to the pantry weekly. We provide ongoing financial support.
Shopping for Justice: We encourage everyone in our church community to purchase supermarket gift cards at church. These are used for full face value at the supermarket while the supermarket gives us 5% profit. This 5% goes entirely to relieve hunger and homelessness. So when you shop we invite you to “shop for justice” by using these gift cards and also by buying goods that we will deliver to the local food pantry.
Fair Trade Sales: We sell Equal Exchange items of coffee, tea, chocolates and other goods. This supports the Equal Exchange fair trade network around the world, and all profits we make go directly into funding our social justice programs.
English for Speakers of Other Languages: We offer tutoring to some local adult English learners, in conjunction with Literacy Volunteers of Stoughton/Sharon, in our church library.
Welcoming Congregation: We are fully and enthusiastically committed to full rights for everyone regardless of sexual orientation. Throughout the year we support the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender communities. We make a special point to participate in the Gay Pride parade each year in Boston.
Partner Church: The Unitarian Church in Romania began in the year 1568. The Unitarians there have survived centuries of persecution and attempts at ethnic cleansing. In the 20th century they were driven into desparate poverty under the Communist regime. We are partnered with a Unitarian Church in the Transylvanian area of Romania. We correspond and exchange visits. We provide financial assistance on a yearly basis. Our Partner Church connects us to our long and proud Unitarian history.
Immigration and Prison Reform: We have been actively supporting the work of Centro Presente in Somerville, a center of education, support, and advocacy for the rights of immigrants in Massachusetts, and MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition). We have been working in the area of prison reform to stop the mandatory minimum sentencing trend, offer alternatives to incarceration, visiting people who are in prison, and working on the issue of racism and imprisonment.
Environmental: We are all increasingly aware of how we humans have polluted the earth and now threaten it further through greenhouse gases and global warming. We identify environmental groups to support financially and we lobby for important legislation as it arises.
Brown Envelope Contributions: Our major fundraising vehicle is our “brown envelope” collection each Sunday morning during worship services. Each month a social justice organization or charity is chosen to support. During a Sunday service a presentation is made about the organization and its work. During the month, members contribute to the organization by placing a donation in a “brown envelope” during the collection.
We have a lively social justice program at the Unitarian Church of Sharon. Our work is constantly evolving and deepening. You are invited to participate at any level – small or large.