Members Aligned in Actions to Support People Targeted by Discrimination
Walnut Creek, CA – Feb. 1, 2017 – The members of Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church (MDUUC) voted Jan. 29, 2017 to become a designated ‘Sanctuary Space’ in keeping with the progressive community’s commitment to the ‘worth and dignity of every human being.’
The approved resolution reads:
“As people of faith and conscience, we pledge to resist policy proposals to target and deport millions of undocumented immigrants and discriminate against marginalized communities. We will open our congregation as a sanctuary for those targeted by hate and work alongside our friends, families, and neighbors to ensure the dignity and human rights of all people.”
The church also adopted the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Declaration of Conscience, provided below.
Recognized as ‘the ones who show up,’ MDUUC members are known for commitment to ‘justice-making,’ engaging with community partners representing those most affected by the inequities in our world. For years, MDUUC’s Social Justice groups have advocated for justice and comprehensive reform of the immigration system, borne public witness and worked to educate the congregation on immigration issues, raising awareness, for example, of the plight of immigrants detained by the US Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agency.
There are also focused efforts around racial justice, economic and environmental justice. MDUUC ‘shows up’ for Black Lives Matter witness, when ‘Winter Nights’ rotation needs space to host and feed homeless guest families, when neighboring churches need advocates for caring proposals to City Councils. Hundreds of members and friends showed up for coaching on becoming better allies with transgender people and Beloved Conversations workshops to look inward and understand inherent racial bias. In the days following the November election, more than 300 people showed up for impromptu, extra worship services to connect and be in accepting community.
Said the Rev. Leslie Takahashi, lead minister for MDUUC on Jan. 31st, “Today is Fred Korematsu Day when we remember a brave Japanese American who stood up against the internment of the Japanese Americans and defied immoral leaders and unethical policies. Our congregation stands firmly with those in every age who have had to remember the far horizon of a larger law which values and respects the worth and dignity of each person. The executive orders signed in the White House last week must be opposed and resisted. In every age and now particularly in ours, people of good faith have been called to remind us to live in the spirit of love and unity rather than fear and division.”
On Feb. 3, 2017 MDUUC will participate with the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County to create a “Ring of Solidarity” to support worshippers and community members of the Walnut Creek Islamic Center. All interested in being a part of a ring of solidarity are welcome to join others at the Islamic Center, 2449 Buena Vista Avenue in Walnut Creek at 12:30 pm, to demonstrate support for the Muslims in our community. If you are interested in participating in the Jumu’ah prayer at 1:30 pm, you are invited to join them. Following the Jumu’ah prayers, there will be a program of interfaith solidarity in the center’s courtyard.
MDUUC ‘does church’ differently, growing in recent years to more than 500 members. The vibrant faith community reaches many through less traditional methods from podcasts to streaming sermons; many attend personal growth workshops and programs from Vespers to ‘Awakening Joy.’
A welcoming religious community, MDUUC’s mission is to bring to life its Unitarian Universalist values as we:
- seek truth and work for justice
- nurture compassion and courage
- reach out to each other and to our larger community of faith
- bridge divisions that wound the human family
- transform ourselves and our world.
Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Declaration of Conscience
Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church also voted on Jan. 29, 2017 to confirm the UUA Declaration of Conscience to guide its work, which reads:
At this extraordinary time in our nation’s history, we are called to affirm our profound commitment to the fundamental principles of justice, equity and compassion, to truth and core values of American society.
In the face of looming threats to immigrants, Muslims, people of color, and the LGBTQ community and the rise of hate speech, harassment and hate crimes, we affirm our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
In opposition to any steps to undermine the right of every citizen to vote or to turn back advances in access to health care and reproductive rights, we affirm our commitment to justice and compassion in human relations.
And against actions to weaken or eliminate initiatives to address the threat of climate change – actions that would threaten not only our country but the entire planet – we affirm our unyielding commitment to protect the interdependent web of all existence.
We will oppose any and all unjust government actions to deport, register, discriminate, or despoil.
As people of conscience, we declare our commitment to translate our values into action as we stand on the side of love with the most vulnerable among us.
We welcome and invite all to join in this commitment for justice.
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