Social Justice Council – August 2018

Minutes of meeting held on Aug. 8, 2018

Attendance: Evan Freund, Allan Lindrup, Ellen LaRue, Marie Cobbs, Rishona Taylor (CRS), and (arriving near the end of the meeting) Kennie James

Opening: We commenced about 6:10 p.m. with a chalice lighting and opening words provided by Allan. Check-ins followed.

Minutes of June SJC Meeting: The minutes of the June SJC meeting had been typed and electronically distributed during July. No revisions were submitted electronically. No one had any amendments to suggest at this meeting. The draft minutes were unanimously approved as written.

Community Renewal Society (CRS): Rishona, the South Side organizer for CRS said that she tries to meet with CRS’ S. Side congregations each month, so will be coming to our monthly SJC meeting frequently. CRS has a new staff member who is focusing on organizing those who have records. A handout showed CRS’ focuses for 2017-18, which continue as the focuses for 2018-19. CRS’ annual membership assembly will be on Oct. 6.

With regard to GAPA and the other plans for improved police accountability, the city’s negotiators are still being intransigent regarding giving enforcement powers to a body that is independent of the Mayor, and allowing district elections and for an independent body to have the power to hire and fire the Police Superintendent. The negotiations may be stalemated until after the 2019 Mayoral election.

There was discussion of what CRS can do to help its congregational members, such as through training on relationship building. A Congregational Organizing Plan (for social justice or other aspect of church life) was distributed, as something we might find useful.

Individuals from CRS’ member congregations can get involved with any of the first 4 issue groups on related to CRS’ focuses. Evan is currently involved with the Police Accountability and Restoring Opportunities and Justice Reform groups. Allan said he would be open to joining the group working on housing and jobs, where he would want to focus on the housing side.

Retreat: We discussed whether to hold our SJC Retreat on a separate September date and location or try to hold it in place of the regular September meeting. We agreed to go for a separate date. We would want to invite social justice activists beyond those who represent a task force or group at the SJC meetings and also invite Miles Davis, our congregation’s relatively new membership coordinator. Evan Freund agreed to host the meeting at his home. At this meeting we were leaning toward holding the Retreat during the afternoon of Sat. Sept. 15 (but that was late shifted to Sat. Sept. 22).

SJC Fair: After some discussion we agreed that we would like to hold this fair during the social hour after the Worship Service on Sept. 30, i.e. from roughly 11 to 11:45 a.m. Evan said he would contact the church office to get it on the calendar.

Denominational Affairs: Marie asked that the SJC consider and support a letter to CAUUC that would present a broader range of the activities at our church than the report that was submitted to CAUUC last spring, which was not properly representative. Evan said he would seek to secure the questions that CAUUC asked of congregations, so that we could provide a more complete response in a supplemental letter. The matter will be discussed further at the September SJC meeting.

Other Business: Per Ellen, Elvira Pelliterri is writing a letter to the ministers, to appeal for a return of a labor oriented Worship Service on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, something like those that the SJC used to organize.

Closing: We had closing words, then adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Minutes by Allan Lindrup, Secretary



Global Studies Group, submitted by Ellen LaRue

The Global Studies Group (GSG) met on Sundays July 1 and August 5. We are reading Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War by Stephen Cohen. On these dates we discussed Chapter 3 “The Tragedy of Soviet Conservatism”, and Chapter 4 “Was the Soviet System Reformable”? We also reread Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, chapters 11 and 12, which described what was done to the Soviet Union as it was becoming more democratic and more market-oriented. Both books provide much food for thought about history and about what can happen to our own country now. The discussions are always spirited. We have a core of participants, plus people who attend irregularly, and drop-ins. All are welcome, having read the book or not. Next meeting: Sunday after church, Sept. 2. Contact Bobbi Lammers-Campbell ( or Ellen LaRue ( for info.

Green Sanctuary Group, submitted by Allan Lindrup

The Environmental Book Club will next be reading and discussing How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate by Andrew J. Hoffman. Its sessions will be on the 4th Sundays, starting in September. The Green Sanctuary Group will meet on Wednesday evening, August 29, to develop its Action Plan for the 2018-19 church year.