Stay Up to Date with SJAM...



The Social and Environmental Justice group meets monthly at 11:30am after the 10:00 a.m. worship service.  All are welcome, regardless of any church or secular affiliations. Our meetings are also taking place via Zoom. To learn more, please contact Kathy Franz, 


All are welcome - Federated folks and others.


Speaker and Movie nights provide an opportunity to explore our priority areas more in depth. Speaker and Movie night is generally the third Monday of each month at 7:00 pm.   Until we can be together again, participants will view the chosen films on line by following the links provided and then log onto Zoom at 7:00 for discussion. 


Everyone, from Federated Church and the larger community, is invited to join together for an evening of learning, stimulating conversation, and exploring the issues of our times.


As we explore issues of social justice, questions keep coming:

What is God calling us to do?

What is God asking of us?

How will we respond?"

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Our Faith

Our Vote

The United Church of Christ’s Our Faith Our Vote Campaign is our ongoing commitment to equip you with the tools for nonpartisan faithful engagement in our democratic process. The campaign is made up of three main components; voter registration, issue education, and voter empowerment.

Politics is often taken to be a dirty word, but political processes are simply the way communities organize their common life. For people of faith, public policy is never merely politics. It is a way of living out the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. It is fitting for local congregations and church structures across the country to develop nonpartisan programs to help the faith community reflect upon the political order.

SJAM folks are involved with several “Get Out the Vote” organizations. If you are interested in becoming involved, be sure to attend the September 18th SJAM General Meeting.  In the meantime, contact Kathy Franz (see above) or Tricia Baumgartner 440-708-6231 or


Racial and Economic Justice

Centering God, Decentering Whiteness

There is still room for people to sign up for "Centering God, Decentering Whiteness." Participants from many different churches will explore how Whiteness works and how it decenters God's presence in people's lives. 8 monthly sessions beginning in October. $200 registration fee. For more information, contact Barry Stees (

Racial and Economic Justice

Racial Allyship

Last chance to sign up for the Racial Allyship series starting August 4. It will run weekly for 8 weeks on zoom and be co-facilitated by Robin Harbage and Bill Shaul. It has a secular orientation and is free. Anyone interested should contact Bill (  




The following Statement of Solidarity has been thoughtfully prepared by the leadership of the Social Justice Advocacy Ministry at the invitation of the Church Council.


The Federated Church stands in solidarity with our Black and Brown sisters and brothers who over generations have been and continue to be subject to a high level of violence through overzealous policing, racial profiling, and white vigilantism as well as the failure of justice in our courts.


While the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police is the immediate cause of today's unrest, we acknowledge that his murder is but one example of the many ways systemic racism is rooted in our society.


We believe we are in the midst of two pandemics. COVID-19 has stolen the breath from thousands of our fellow Americans. The other -- some call it "COVID-1619" -- has been stealing the breath from our Black and Brown sisters and brothers for over 400 years. When one of us cries, "I can't breathe," we are all robbed of that Pentecost moment when the Spirit of the Lord moved like a mighty wind into bodies in that first-century crowd, giving them breath. While we may speak with many tongues, with this breath the Spirit allows us to hear and understand as though there is but one voice (Acts 2:4, 6).


We believe we are in a Pentecost moment now. The wind of the Holy Spirit has pulled the curtain back from our confusion and we now can see clearly that racism is America's Original Sin.


We seek a way forward in which every person's life is valued and communities are kept safe because those charged with protecting them realize that they themselves are part of a greater family as Children of God. We stand in solidarity with those protesting peacefully for justice and reform of law enforcement. We applaud those in law enforcement who have marched with or taken a knee with protesters in recent days.


Finally, we believe that statements like this can be empty words without follow up. "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:14). In the coming weeks, the Social Justice Advocacy Ministry will create an action plan for moving forward within both our church and the community.



As Christians, we prayerfully seek to educate ourselves and take action consistent with our faith in order to bring justice to those who are most vulnerable, disenfranchised and marginalized, indeed to all of God’s creation.

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Kathy Franz at 440.821.7795 or


The Presbyterian theologian, Frederick Buechner offers this advice on how to discern God's voice amidst the noise: "The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work a.) that you need most to do and b.) that the world most needs to have done... The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." 


Below (in alphabetical order) are our areas of advocacy, but they are open to expansion based on the passion of the members of the Social and Environmental Justice group. If these reflect your passion and you wish to become further engaged or have questions, please contact the person listed.

  1. Environmental Justice - Contact: Dawn Dole
  2. Domestic Violence - Contact: Darlene Nichols
  3. Immigration Justice - Contact: Bill Shaul
  4. LGBTQ+ - Contact: Barry Stees  
  5. Racial Justice - Contact:  Barry Stees
  6. Voting Rights/Electoral Process - Contact: Tricia Baumgartner
  7. Women’s and Children's Issues - Contact: Darlene Nichols
  8. Immigration - Contact: Rannigan Walsh

  9. Criminal Justice - Contact: Tricia Baumgartner

  10. Economic Justice and Education - Contact: Marty Culbertson


  1. St. Paul’s Community Church - Contact: Darlene Nichols and Marty Culbertson
  2. Chagrin Falls Park - Contact: Sunny Doxey
  3. Mt Zion UCC - Contact: Barry Stees
  4. Chagrin Valley Council of Churches - Contact: Dan Kershner 


Our leadership consists of the lead person from each of the priorities listed above. The staff liaison is Marty Culbertson