Social Justice Council – November 2017

Minutes of meeting held on Nov. 8, 2017

Attendance: Andrea Freerksen, Evan Freund, Allan Lindrup, Finley Campbell, Ellen LaRue, Marie Cobbs, Kennie James, and Corey Mason

The meeting began at 6:10 p.m. with a chalice lighting and opening words provided by Allan. Check-ins followed.

Minutes of the October SJC meeting

The draft minutes of the October SJC meeting were previously distributed electronically. Allan reported that he had not received any suggested revisions. Finley moved adoption of the previously distributed draft minutes of the October SJC meeting. Andrea seconded the motion, which was then adopted unanimously.

Task Force and Group Reports

Green Sanctuary Group – Allan Lindrup reported that the first of three environmental worship services for this church year occurred last Sunday. The Green Sanctuary Group made organizational contributions to renew membership with 1) Southeast Chicago Environmental Task Force, and 2) UU Ministry for Earth. An email was sent to the congregation to share the Green Sanctuary Group Action Plan for 2017-2018. Progress has been made on advertising the Household Hazardous Waste and Computer Electronics collection being held on the alley side of our church on Sat. Dec. 2 between 9 and 11 a.m. Richard Pardo, who has the lead on improving our church’s recycling efforts this year, is leading a First Forum on Recycling Now (may not be the exact title).

Racial Justice Task Force – Finley was the main reporter. The Nature of Racism Class, this year focusing on the Neo-Racism, started in October. It is meeting on the third Sunday of the month, usually starting around 1 p.m. There was a multi-racial unity outing to the Sinfonietta’s Day of the Dead Celebration on Nov. 6. There is an effort to have a multi-racial unity outing to see the movie “LBJ”. A subcommittee met before this meeting to review the Emancipation Proclamation Pageant script, to decide what could be cut out to reduce its length, and to do other planning related to that annual event.

Black Lives Matter Group – Andrea said a report was submitted to the Google Group. The group’s next meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in RE Rooms 2&3.

Criminal Justice Task Force – Evan reported that on Nov. 2 the Criminal Justice Task Force, or at least a small portion of it, met with a representative from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. There was much concerns about the budget cuts that all areas funded by the Cook County government are being asked to propose. Evan has been making interfaith connections with Episcopalians working on criminal justice reform and one of those connections participated in this meeting.

Denominational Affairs Committee – The committee met in October. Chris Tellez reported on the CRS Annual Meeting. The Inspiring Social Justice Collaboration workshop, sponsored by CAUUC, was held at Unity Temple on Nov. 4 and was constructive in connecting more Chicago area UUs with the UU and other organizations represented. The UUSJ Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 3, at the UU Community Church in Park Forest. The program portion of the meeting will focus on those who have been in jail for their peace activities.

Global Studies Group – Ellen reported that all of the last meeting was devoted to discussing Chapter 2 of “The Real North Korea”. The group hopes to discuss both chapters 3 and 4 at its December meeting.

SJC Special Collections

We have three more potential SJC Special Collections this church year. Finley, for his wife Bobbi, said that we should have a SJC Special Collection for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. Congressman Gutierrez from Illinois’ 4th Congressional District is taking funds to Puerto Rico, but we need to contribute to a non-profit organization and don’t know if one is collecting funds for the Congressman’s efforts. We need to know organizational names and research organizations involved with hurricane relief for Puerto Rico. Evan moved that we hold a SJC Special Collection for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico once an appropriate non-profit recipient is identified. Finley seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved. We hope to have this collection in November, or at the latest early December.

Rev. Teri brought to our attention a new UU congregation in Kenya. Their minister in training has visited our church, as he is attending Meadville Lombard Theological School and comes to Chicago periodically in connection with his studies. He is expected back in January. Evan moved that we have a SJC Special Collection, probably in January, to support this new UU congregation in Kenya (name and address to be secured from Rev. Teri). Marie seconded the motion, which passed with all in favor except one abstention.

The UU Prison Ministry of Illinois (UUPMI) was also raised up for consideration. Andrea nominated that organization for our last SJC Special Collection of this church year, to take place between March and June. Finley seconded the motion, which was approved with one abstention.

Purpose of the SJC

Evan presented a statement focused on the 7 UU Principles. A discussion of those Principles and how they related to social justice followed. Andrea suggested several tweaks to the wording, which most of us thought were improvements. Ellen moved that we adopt the statement, with Andrea’s amendments incorporated. Kennie seconded. Unanimously approved. Evan will need to incorporate the revisions and then share and post the adopted version.

SJC Pot-luck, with preceding Google Group training

We agreed to have a SJC pot-luck at Evan’s home on Friday, Dec. 1, from 7 to 9 p.m., with Evan offering new or supplemental Google Group training during the 6 to 7 p.m. time slot.

New Business

Guest Corey Mason, one of the leaders with Fearless Leading by Youth (FLY), shared one of the FLY brochures and talked about the organization’s history and current activities. Current activities include free workshops, urban gardens, advocacy, restorative justice circles, and services for the homeless around Thanksgiving.

SJC Movies

Nov. 17 – ‘How to Let Go of the World’ sponsored by the Green Sanctuary Group

Dec. 15 – ‘Juarez’ sponsored by the Racial Justice Task Force

Jan. 19 – ‘Lincoln’ sponsored by the Racial Justice Task Force

SJC First Forums

Dec. 3 – Recycling Today, lead by Richard Pardo, sponsored by the Green Sanctuary Group (date shifted from Nov. 19, as Board called congregational meeting on Nov. 19)

Dec. 17 – SJC foregoes its First Forum, due to the date’s proximity to Christmas

Jan. 21 – Workshop on the Movement for Black Lives, sponsored by the Black Lives Matter Task Force

Feb. 18 – Community Violence Abatement, sponsored by the Criminal Justice Task Force

Web of Connection Exercise

We built a web out of string between us while verbalizing how we feel connected to each other.


We had closing words on thankfulness. Adjournment followed at 8:07 p.m.

Minutes by Allan Lindrup