At First Unitarian of Des Moines, we are committed to the Unitarian Universalist theology of engagement to help heal the brokenness in our larger community and world. The Social Justice Council provides opportunities for all to work together to raise awareness of critical issues, and take steps to make a difference.
The Council coordinates this work though four Action Groups: Energy and Justice For all; Health Care; Human Rights; Hunger (The FEDS). For more information and/or to join with others in these efforts contact: Kate Allen at ka.65(at)live(dot)com or 210-4418.
To form an action group: If you would like to join with others and form an action group to address an issue for which you have passion, please download the form Request for Sanction of an Affirmed Justice Group, complete and give the form to Kate Allen.
To request funding: Affirmed Justice Groups (AJG) are eligible to request funding from the Social Justice Council to assist in addressing action group issues. Please download and complete the form SJC Request form for Funds and give the form to Kate Allen.
Energy and Justice For All
Are you concerned about global warming? The Energy and Justice for All committee is concerned, and they are taking action to organize us to do something about it. Energy and Justice for All committee members strive to encourage UUs and the broader public to take personal and political action in response to the crisis of climate change. They hope that together we will be able to envision and create a new more just, greener local and global economy. For information contact Jon Knapp McAlister, 515-961-2524 or jandjmcalister(at)hotmail(dot)com
FEDS (Feed Every Deserving Soul)
The Social Justice task force concerned with hunger and hunger issues (commonly identified as the FEDS: feed each deserving soul/stomach) attempts to identify, pursue and facilitate projects for church members interested in helping to alleviate hunger in central Iowa. Activities since the FEDS inception in 2008 have included regularly preparing and serving dinner at the Central Iowa Homeless Shelter, collecting for the DMARC food pantry, and helping survey food sites in the area. Contact Bruce Martin, 288-3427 or barbmartin.dm(at)gmail(dot)com
Believing that access to affordable, quality health care is a fundamental human right, the Health Care Action Group supports efforts to make comprehensive health care, both physical and mental, available to all. Anything less does not respect the worth and dignity of each of us, a primary principle of all UUs. Contact Max Knauer, mrk(at)dwx(dot)com
The Human Rights Action Group promotes the inherent worth and dignity of every person and aspires to create a loving community. Recent actions focused on affirming human rights through marriage equality and death with dignity.
Advocates of Marriage Equality: This group focuses on maintaining the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to marry. They work to oppose efforts to develop a constitutional amendment that would take away civil marriage rights away from LGBT Iowans.
Death with Dignity / Aid in Dying: Each year in Iowa, thousands of terminally-ill patients die only after enduring unnecessarily prolonged pain and suffering. The Human Rights Action Group at First Unitarian Church is currently working to address this by encouraging the Iowa Legislature and Governor to pass a Death with Dignity Act similar that passed in Oregon in 1997. This law would allow terminally ill adults of sound mind to voluntarily request help to shorten their dying process. This would be possible by means of a painless, self-administered medication prescribed by a physician. This could occur only upon repeated, duly-witnessed requests with proper safeguards against abuses. It would also be free from civil or criminal penalties for honoring such requests. We believe that each person should be empowered to make end-of –life decisions based on his or her own deeply-held values and beliefs, without fear of moral condemnation or political interference.
We are asking all concerned citizens in Iowa and other states to please sign a petition encouraging their state legislature and governor to pass a Death with Dignity Act and to encourage others to sign the petition, too. To view and download a copy of the petition, please click here. Contact Doug Aupperle, aupperle.douglas(at)gmail(dot)com
An eight-foot pole, bearing message of peace in eight languages, stands on First Unitarian grounds. Erected by several of our members, the Peace Pole stands for an international commitment to peace, and is on display in locations around the world.
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a nonsectarian organization that advances human rights and social justice in the United States and around the world. They offer campaigns in which our church may participate. Learn more at uusc.org