How People’s Church is Involved in the Wider Community

Financial Contributions

Each year our Social Justice Coordinating Committee (SJCC) selects local organizations to be recipients of our monthly special Collections, which total about $1000 per collection. An article is written by the SJCC in the newsletter preceding the designated Sunday and a spokesperson is invited to speak briefly about the mission of the organization before the collection is taken.

Recent or upcoming recipient organizations are:

Material Contributions

On a regular basis, our members bring donations of food and personal products for Loaves and Fishes and Ministry with Community (day shelter), with special “fill the truck” efforts conducted at high need times of year.

Service Contributions

All through the year, members are involved in an array of projects in the community, including:

  • Tutoring at Lincoln School, a high poverty, high need school
  • Mentoring offenders returning to the community
  • Adopt-A-Highway cleanups
  • Periodic special organized advocacy efforts (e.g., to remove contaminated soil from the abandoned paper mill site near major water source, to adopt an anti-discrimination ordinance in our county for sexual orientation).

Systems Change Advocacy

This work is done primarily through our involvement in ISAAC (Interfaith Strategy for Advocacy and Action in the Community). Members of our congregation played significant roles in ISAAC actions that:

  • Helped establish the evidence-based Nurse Family Partnership program in our county (and restore state funding for NFP in Michigan)
  • Created the initiative for high-quality preschool for all 4 year olds in the county (KC Ready 4s)
  • Expanded county funding available for preventing/addressing homelessness and the emerging pilot of the evidence-based FUSE program
  • Conducted transit work that resulted in a county-wide transit authority and expanded public transportation including the paratransit system.

Recognition

In recognition of these contributions, People’s Church was presented the Founders Leadership Award from ISAAC in 2010. A letter of welcome to our ministerial candidates from the ISAAC clergy leaders is included here.

In recognition of our sustained and extensive program of social justice, People’s Church received the Bennett Award for Congregational Action on Human Justice and Social Action from the UUA in 2012. The Bennett Award application letter details the full range of our historic to current (2012) social justice work, from local to international in scope. The award letter stated:

The UUA Bennett Award Panel was very impressed with your congregation’s commitment to a diverse and dynamic justice ministry. From your congregation’s involvement with ISAAC and the Michigan UU Social Justice Network, to the various social justice committees ongoing — a community prisoner release project, a Green Sanctuary Committee, Habitat for Humanity, Martha’s Table and mentoring at Lincoln Elementary School — we were inspired at the breadth and depth of your ministry. Your congregation’s steady progression toward a healthy, multicultural and anti-racist/anti-oppressive justice-oriented congregation is admirable and deserves to be publicly recognized. We were also pleased to see how People’s has consistently made use of UUA resources to help strengthen your justice programs.

Our Partners in the Community

ISAAC LogoISAAC, is an affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation, the Community Based Community Organization (CBCO) where we have played a leadership role since its inception in 2002. Involvement in ISAAC brings us into continual partnership with diverse congregations and leaders throughout the community, such as the Metropolitan NAACP, Hispanic American Council, Great Start Collaborative, affordable housing coalition member organizations, disability advocates, health equity activists, law enforcement and community members impacted by youth gang violence, and in working relationships with our elected representatives at the city, county and state level.

We also work closely with the following organizations in the projects described above: