Be an Agent of Change!

"If not now, when?"

–Primo Levi

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." – Ralph Waldo Emerson (Click to enlarge)

 

Our passion for social justice manifests in a variety of activities. We approach our initiatives through direct service, policy and procedural work, and fighting for systemic change.

The UUFP supports its Food and Shelter ministries, some of its environmental justice activities, and other social justice organizations through our "Share-the-Basket" program. Each Sunday, a different organization is highlighted and receives half of the cash offering from our collection basket as well as designated Share-the-Basket gifts. Contributions to Share-the-Basket and other programs can be made during the worship service and online.

Peruse these opportunities (below) for putting our faith into action!

Join our team: socialjustice@uufp.org.


Share-the-Basket

"All that this Fellowship is, and all that this congregation has, are what we bring to it: our time, our talents, our capabilities and concerns, and our money. And we do not gather these gifts just for ourselves, but also for the world." –Worship Service Offering Prayer

Food & Shelter Ministries – First Sunday

• Community Meals Program

We serve hot meals to the community on Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church. During COVID social distancing, however, please check with our team about schedule changes. This is a continuation of a meals ministry for more than a decade at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in downtown Newport News, which closed in 2019.

• People Offering Resources Together (PORT)

LINK of Hampton Roads, Inc., first introduced the PORT Emergency Homeless Winter Shelter Program to the homeless in Newport News during the winter months of 1993/94. The UUFP has dedicated years of volunteer and financial aid to support this ministry addressing the emeregency needs of and long-term solutions for our neighbors who have no place to call home. PORT is designed for partnering interfaith congregations to open their facilities and provide food, shelter and integrated resources for individuals and families who would normally spend their nights sleeping on the streets, in cars, or perhaps in empty buildings or in the woods.


Virginia Interfaith Power & Light (VAIPL) – Second Sunday

Virginia Interfaith Power and Light works with people of faith to grow healthy, sustainable communities and advance climate justice through worship, education and advocacy. It is an affiliate of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. VAIPL has sponsored Climate Care workshops at the UUFP.

Living Interfaith Network (LINK) – Third Sunday

LINK provides a multitude of resources for the less fortunate of our community. Of significant focus is their People Offering Resources Together (PORT) winter shelter program, in which UUFP heartily participates! November through March, various faith communities in Newport News serve as host PORT sites. One weekend each in January and March, our UUFP team partners with a host site to render aid to the homeless. We buy, prepare, and serve the food for meals and supply volunteers for both kitchen tasks and check-in. Have clothes to donate? Consider offering them to LINK, as they extend these items to their clients through PORT and their Professional and Casual Clothing Closet.

Planned Parenthood – Fourth Sunday

With so many efforts to restrict or deny women the necessary health care they need, the Fellowship supports the many programs furnished by the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood. This organization advocates for women’s health and safety, provides sexual and reproductive health care, and advances the right to make informed and responsible choices.


Parishioners Assistance Fund – Fifth Sunday

UUFP's Caring Ministry is important to the health of this fellowship. The Parishioner Assistance Fund is used to help those in need within our membership. The money is distributed confidentially, so if you are facing serious financial difficulty, please get in touch with our minister.

In addition to our Share-the-Basket volunteer and finanical contributions, consider joining our congregation in support of the following missions.

Black Lives Matter

Sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Side with Love (see video on Justice page) and Black Lives Matter are two public advocacy campaigns that seek to harness love’s power to stop oppression.

Boys & Girls Club

Aqueduct Boys & Girls Club is in our immediate neighborhood. Reaching out to families in need, members of our congregation provide hands-on education onsite at Aqueduct. Arts and crafts and science experiements are among the activities shared with the children and youth.

Citizens for Riverview Farm Park

Citizens for Riverview Farm Park is dedicated to preserving the last stretch of undeveloped riverfront in Newport News. This includes the old City Farm property, land which has been designated as future public parkland in city planning documents. The Citizens encourage everyone, especially Newport News residents, to attend Newport News City Council meetings and speak out against development of this land. Writing City Council members is also effective. On April 24, 2017, the UUFP hosted a large crowd that turned out to hear the Newport News city manager speak about this topic, which was covered by the Daily Press.

Crop Hunger Walk

Customarily slated for a Sunday in October for the Newport News/Peninsula event, the Crop Hunger Walk inspires walkers across Hampton Roads to raise money to support local and global hunger relief and sustainable agricultural development. Our Fellowship supports this mission through walkers, financial gifts, and donations of cookies and shoes (all types and sizes), helping make a global, local and environmental impact!

Legislative Efforts

The Virginia UULM (Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry) researches state legislation involving social justice issues (e.g., raising the minimum wage, expanding Medicaid and reforming the redistricting process). Join our UUFP team as it lobbies for positive change.

“UU the Vote” in 2020 & Voter Registration Drives

As progressive people of faith, Unitarian Universalists can take up a meaningful role in election years without being partisan. We have opportunities to meet and talk with our neighbors, fight for our values, expand democracy, and help others who are promoting justice. Redistricting reform is another vital area of concern. If you would like to share in this effort, please join us as we work to "UU the Vote." A few of the many ways to do this include: talking with your neighbors about your yard sign (“In this house, we believe..”), providing rides to the polls, encouraging young people who will be 18 by the time of the election to register to vote. To learn more, please stop by the Social Justice Table on Sunday mornings, or email socialjustice@uufp.org, and look for articles in the E-Flame in the months ahead.

Equality Virginia Phone Bank

Equality Virginia believes in a truly inclusive Commonwealth where all are equally valued, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and a Virginia that is a safe, welcoming, and equal place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their families to live, work, and play. Supporting this mission, UUFP volunteers have actively served through the EV phone bank, helping to pass pro-equality bills! Contact: dre@uufp.org.

Pridefest

Sponsored by Hampton Roads PRIDE, Pridefest is an LBGTQ-centered event scheduled annually in June in Norfolk. Affirming inclusion, dignity and equality of all people, UUFP volunteers have staffed an information table in support of this important event.

Book your tickets