First Unitarian has been active in Social Justice for over 175 years

Our “First Church” has been active in serving community needs since its founding in 1836 (e.g. during Civil War, after the Chicago Fire, city’s first soup kitchen, 1950’s Urban Renewal) and the tradition continues today. The central purpose of the Social Justice Council is stated in our Unison Affirmation that is recited at each Sunday service – “Love is the spirit of this church, and service is its law.” The SJC is here to provide a focal point for service – to our congregation and to the community. All are welcome to participate at any level – attend events, offer suggestions on projects, have input in meetings, lead an action – whatever your comfort level. If you want to focus on a specific area, you can join an existing group or form a group. Whatever you chose to do, your help is needed to make our church, our community, our state, our nation and our world a better place.

The Social Justice Council [SJC], is one of three semi-autonomous church councils. The Chair of the SJC is elected annually by the congregation. The Council holds regular monthly meetings.

The Social Justice Council:
✓Coordinates the SJC First Forums, held on the third Sunday of most months.
✓Organizes a social justice film series, typically shown in evening on the third Friday of the month.
✓Takes stands in its own name, but not in the name of the church as a whole.
✓Holds up to four special collections in each church year, to benefit a social justice cause of special interest.
✓Organizes or co-sponsors community forums on social justice matters.

The mission of the Global Studies Group (GSG) is to study current international events. Members identify critical areas of the world that they would like to learn about, and select readings for discussion. Over the years, the group has focused on different areas of the world, such as the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, and has investigated political themes such as imperialism, terrorism and immigration. While the emphasis is on reading and discussion, the group occasionally becomes involved in social justice action, marching against war, or on behalf of immigration reform, writing letters to government representatives, doing collections for various causes, and, most recently, supporting the Occupy movement.

The council welcomes all members and friends of the church to support its mission by joining an existing task force, forming a new task force, sponsoring a special social justice event, connecting us with other social justice groups in the larger world, and volunteering to assist in church activities carried out by the Council.