SOCIAL JUSTICE ADVOCACY

MINISTRY

CURRENT ACTIVITIES

MEETINGS

The Social and Environmental Justice group meets monthly at 11:15 after the 10:00 a.m. worship service.  All are welcome, regardless of any church or secular affiliations. During this time of social distancing our meetings are taking place at 11:15 am on Sundays on Zoom.  Contact any leader listed below to be included in the call.

 

All are welcome - Federated folks and others.

Sunday, February 21 

SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
MOVIE NIGHTS

Movie nights provide an opportunity to explore our priority areas more in depth. 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?"



Monday, February 15, 7 pm

Watch the movie 13th at your leisure.  Then join us on Zoom for a discussion. You can access the movie on You Tube or Netflix. Join the discussion on Zoom at the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83595558354?pwd=U1VxZU5SZ0NjcEVkbEcxeXpsbVlWdz09  


February 22, 7:00 pm on Zoom

The arts and criminal justice join together with the Social Justice Advocacy Ministries of Federated Church in Chagrin Falls to present a special virtual event to discuss how Chagrin Arts and the Ohio Innocence Project have joined together for a unique new avenue for advocacy and education. The Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati College of Law is dedicated to investigating crimes of wrongful imprisonment and the exoneration of people who are imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.


Chagrin Arts has focused its work in the performing and visual arts on diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. Currently, the Joan P. Wenk Gallery at Chagrin Arts features a powerful photography exhibit titled “Freedom of Expression: Giving Voice to Victims of Wrongful Conviction.” This exhibit captures arts made by crime victims, the exonerated, and family members of both. It is on loan through February from Healing Justice, a not-for-profit in Washington D.C.


Featured speakers at the virtual event include Pierce Reed, Program Director for Policy, Legislation and Education for the Ohio Innocence Project, Laurese Glover, a part of a group of exonerees known as the East Cleveland Three, and Karen Prasser, Executive Director of Chagrin Arts.


Join us for this powerful presentation with this Zoom link  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83595558354?pwd=U1VxZU5SZ0NjcEVkbEcxeXpsbVlWdz09   

RECENT ACTIONS BY SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AT FEDERATED

WHITE PRIVILEGE BOOK STUDY

White Privilege Classes will begin in January 2021.  If you haven’t taken the class yet, please consider doing so. Past participants have consistently given this course high ratings.  It is very eye-opening.  Zoom has worked as the platform for the most recent round of classes. Please spread the word, as community members who are not affiliated with Federated Church are more than welcome.


Timeframe: Beginning in January and continuing for seven weekly sessions on Zoom.  90 minutes each.


Dates/Times: Will be arranged to fit the needs of those who register


If you are interested, please email Bill Shaul at theshauls@msn.com

   


STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY

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.

ABOUT SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE  

OUR VISION

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 kfranz17114@gmail.com.

OUR PRIORITIES

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 coopdole@gmail.com
  2. Gun Violence - Contact: Judy Majcen jomajcen@gmail.com
  3. Immigration Justice - Contacts: Judy Kramer jkramer222@gmail.com and Bill Shaul theshauls@msn.com
  4. LGBTQ+ - Contact: Barry Stees steesbassoon@gmail.com  
  5. Racial Justice - Contact:  Barry Stees steesbassoon@gmail.com
  6. Voting Rights/Electoral Process - Contact: Tricia Baumgartner tricia.a.baumgartner@gmail.com
  7. Women’s Issues - Contacts: Darlene Nichols darnichols10@gmail.com and Judy Majcen jomajcen@gmail.com

OUR PARTNERS

  1. St. Paul’s Community Church - Contact: Darlene Nichols darnichols10@gmail.com and Marty Culbertson mculbert@fedchurch.org
  2. Chagrin Falls Park - Contact: Sunny Doxey rdoxey@roadrunner.com
  3. Mt Zion UCC - Contact: Barry Stees steesbassoon@gmail.com
  4. Chagrin Valley Council of Churches - Contact: Dan Kershner drekersh@gmail.com and Judy Kramer jkramer222@gmail.com

LEADERSHIP

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