Social justice lays at the heart of United Christian Parish. UCP's Justice & Peace Ministry Team (JPMT) works as the anchor for our social justice involvements.
What does the flag mean to us? That we are a welcoming congregation. That we are diverse and open---welcoming to people from all cultures, of any race, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age or ability.
JPMT focuses on:
JPMT puts the beliefs of our congregation into action through advocacy, community engagement and education. UCP believes in a peaceful society and justice for all of God's children and recognizes the barriers to peace and justice that exist for too many.
The involvements of JPMT vary in their advocacy, but all backed in the understanding that social justice issues are inter-connected. JPMT works to transform unjust conditions within our social system.
We believe in making our community a safer place. We work alongside community members and organizations working towards eliminating gun violence.
We were a proud co-sponsor of the first and second ever Reston Pride events in 2018 and 2019.
To become better restorers, peace activists and redeemers in Christ, education is important. JPMT hosts several conferences throughout the year so that we may learn from each other and make changes in our communities. These interfaith conferences offer all of us the opportunity to hear from a variety of organizations advocating for marginalized groups. Check out scenes from the Fall 2018 Justice & Inclusion Conference:
We believe that it is our role as Christians to love all of our neighbors. The right for all humans to feel safe and welcomed is recognized at United Christian Parish. We stand in solidarity with our immigrant community and offer sanctuary to those who fear injustice, violence, or fear for their safety.
Campaigning to bring about political and social change is important to us. Throughout the year, JPMT participates in marches and in other means of campaigning.
At UCP, we strive to be as inclusive as Jesus. We work diligently to be as welcoming and inclusive as possible. We recognize the importance of being a safe space for people to discuss race and how we can work as a community to be more inclusive.
UCP leadership recently attended a two-day inclusion and anti-racism training program led by Rev. Michelle Ledder, director of Program Ministries for The United Methodist Church’s General Commission on Religion & Race. Ideas emerging from the exercises conducted during that training have provided a starting point for us to now begin the follow-up work of taking concrete steps to make UCP more inclusive and welcoming. Recommendations that arose include having a more diverse leadership team, developing ways to increase social interaction across diverse groups, and establishing a task force to look at our Constitution and Bylaws for ways to institutionalize equity more fully.
The UCP Board has, therefore, established a new ad hoc subcommittee led by UCP Board members Joan Braxton and Laurie Callahan. Starting with the notes from the training session, the committee is tasked with developing recommendations for concrete actions to improve equity at UCP, as well as a timeline for implementation. It is understood that inclusion work will, of necessity, be ongoing.
Learn more about Environmental Justice at UCP.