Social Justice Ministry Team News:
ECCO Boat Cruise
May 24, 2023
You are invited to ECCO's annual Boat Cruise Fundraiser, the best social justice dance party of the summer! Join us for an evening of shmoozing, a DJ dance party, and cash bar/light refreshments with ECCO's vibrant and diverse community.
Our social justice partner ECCO (Essex County Community Organization) is having a fun fundraiser on Sunday June 4th. ECCO does great work on systemic issues and of late has been focused on housing and affordability throughout Essex county. On immigration issues, we had a big success last fall, after years of work, on driver’s license for undocumented immigrants. It is a great organization to be a part of and to support.
The June 4th boat cruise is in Gloucester Harbor in time to see the sunset. There a few ways to support. UUCGL will be a sponsor and you could be too. Or better yet, you can buy a ticket and attend. In addition, you can buy an equity ticket – a ticket for an ECCO member who cannot afford the $50 ticket price but wants to join the celebration of ECCO’s good works.
Put on your dancing shoes (or not) but definitely buy your tickets here.
Winter Forum on Innovation in Addressing Hunger A Success!
February 15, 2023
What a thoughtful and forward-thinking conversation we had this past Sunday afternoon at our winter forum: Innovation in Addressing Hunger! We’d like to thank our most excellent panelists for their time, as well as church members Michael Celona, Suzanne Forgione, and Martha Curry for all their great work organizing this event. Eileen Cummings, Mary Gatlin, Bruce Campbell, Mike Michaud and many others helped out on the event day.
If you missed the forum, you can watch the whole thing HERE on our YouTube page! CLICK HERE for more information about the bills discussed. We encourage you to read these bills and contact your representatives to voice your support if you agree!
Innovation in Addressing Hunger – A Discussion about Advances in Food Security
January 12, 2023
You are invited to a panel discussion about new approaches to food insecurity in our area on February 12, from 12-2pm.
BRENDAN CRIGHTON — Senator, 3rd Essex District
JASON ETHERIDGE — Executive Director, Lifebridge North Shore
LAURA SPATHANAS — Anchor Food Pantry
NORRIS GUSCOTT — Public Health Coordinator, Health Division & Food Security Task Force Leader, City of Lynn
Time for Q&A
Reception to follow
Free and open to the public
Livestreaming at: facebook.com/uucgl
Gift Cards for My Brother's Table
November 29, 2022
UUCGL has had a long relationship with My Brother's Table (MBT) in Lynn. For many years, the holiday party we gave at the soup kitchen was a highlight for all involved.
COVID has made such an event impossible. All meals at MBT are now served to go, since it is not safe to have so many people in the dining room. They are now serving meals to 500 people per day, up from 200 a few years ago.
MBT can no longer provide all guests with a sweater or sweatshirt on Christmas with all the meals to go. They are hoping to provide gift cards to everyone, so that people can get a sweater or sweatshirt (or something else needed) on their own.
We are asking church members (if able) to purchase a $20 gift card for Target, Walmart, or generic Visa or MasterCard to be given out at MBT on Christmas. A basket will be provided in church each Sunday. Gift cards may also be left in a basket on the table in the foyer or the Lucite folder on the office door. Cards will be collected until Sunday December 18th.
Please consider this new way of helping our neighbors this Christmas.
Social Justice Ministry Team
ECCO Community Meeting
Join members of our Social Justice Ministry Team at the Feb. 20th meeting to participate in this important work!
Help us celebrate the House victory for Drivers' Licenses and celebrate Rabbi Margie as our new Executive Director. We will also get going on our campaign work for 2022. Specifically, we will learn more about our new affordable housing campaign, share stories about how we’re each affected by this issue, and get set to take next steps in our cities and towns.
Register here so we can send you the zoom link.
Can You Help My Brother's Table Brown Bag Meal Program?
MBT’s response to the pandemic was to assemble a network of volunteers who work from their homes. These off-site volunteers assemble lunch and dinner bags to provide to-go meals while MBT is not open for in-house dining. If you are interested in working with other church members to assemble lunch or dinner bags OR if you are interested in supporting this work with a monetary donation or a food donation, we would like to hear from you. For more information about MBT please contact Deb Boggs, Clare Campbell, or Michael Celona.
St. Stephen's Food Pantry can use our help!
October 15, 2021
St. Stephen's food pantry is in need of money and food. The number of people visiting the pantry is up after a dip during the summer. For food donations, it is best if they have many of the same types of items (i.e., one for each bag). If people want to coordinate the purchasing and donating of certain items (peanut butter, eggs, etc.), let me know.
If people want to donate money to the pantry, they can make the check out to St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (put PANTRY in the memo) and mail to:
St. Stephen's Food Pantry, C/O St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
74 South Common Street, Lynn, MA 01902
We have a growing UUCGL team volunteering at the pantry on Fridays; please contact the church if you can join us.
Social Justice Ministry Team
Social Justice and Service Gathering
September 17, 2021
Tuesday, October 5th | 7 pm
At Church and on Zoom
Let's join together to share opportunities for activism and service for the coming year.
What are you working on? With whom are you partnering? What are your hopes, joys, sorrows and struggles in these projects and this work?
Rev. Vicki will prepare updates from ECCO and UU Mass Action. Please come with your own reports and ideas about how to engage the wider congregation and community.
Depending on the weather we can come at 6PM and eat dinner outside.
Can You Help My Brother's Table?
June 16, 2021
My Brother’s Table has made the headlines recently with the news that they will purchase the building they operate out of from the City of Lynn. After years of renting, the organization will have the ability to renovate in ways that better serve the community.
If you have been reading the Update throughout these pandemic months, then you’ve read about My Brother’s Table brown bag meal program!
MBT’s response to the pandemic was to assemble a network of volunteers who work from their homes. These off-site volunteers assemble lunch and dinner bags to supplement the hot foods that MBT prepares and serves every day. This program will be continuing throughout the summer months, the Table will not be reopening for in-house dining and will continue to provide to-go meals.
There are lots of openings in their summer calendar for brown bag donations. If you are interested in working with other church members to assemble lunch or dinner bags OR if you are interested in supporting this work with a monetary donation or a food donation, we would like to hear from you.
For more information about MBT please contact Deb Boggs, Clare Campbell, or Michael Celona.
June 10, 2021
The Social Justice Ministry Team wants everyone to know that the Town of Swampscott is celebrating Pride Month with a ceremony at Town Hall Saturday, June 12 at 1 p.m. There will be a flag-raising and our new member Justin Snow will speak. Swampscott will also observe Juneteenth on Thursday, June 17, at 1 p.m. with a flag raising. We hope to see as many of you there as possible!
April 22, 2021
This week, on April 20, we cried, sang, yelled, prayed, and were given a little hope. But an ex-police officer being held accountable and being convicted is not the end of the book, it is another chapter of the possibility of ending structural racism. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison spoke these words: “I would not call today’s verdict “justice”, however, because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice. And now the cause of justice is in your hands. And when I say your hands, I mean the hands of the people of the United States.”
We ask that we here at UUCGL reflect on how we are going use our collective hands, and then, more importantly, take action and take the next steps toward justice.
One way we might take action is with fellow UUs across the region. UU Mass Action if forming regional groups for state wide actions. The Northshore/Merrimack Valley UU Action Team kicks off on April 29. Here the RSVP link or see Flyer for more details.
Help Us Plan Our Church Service
April 8, 2021
The Social Justice Ministry Team is scheduled to present a church service in May. The team will meet Tuesday, April 13th and we need lots of volunteers to make our service a success. Our theme will be racial justice. Do Black Lives Matter to you? Why? How have you shown it in the past? How would you like to show it in the future? Contact Martha Curry or Jack Butterworth for a Zoom connection!
Brown Bags for MBT
March 29, 2021
Throughout these pandemic winter months, it has been heartening to see the activity on My Brother’s Table’s sign-up calendar. The response from the greater Lynn community has been unwavering. Every week, individuals and groups prepare 2,000 brown bags to supplement the hot meals provided by MBT.
Members of the UUCGL community contributed 575 brown bags in the month of February. For more about our efforts with My Brother’s Table, click here.
April’s calendar is filling up fast and May is open for sign-ups. If you are interested in putting together brown bags, either individually or with a team, or if you would like to donate towards this effort, please be in touch.
March 21, 2021
“Justice is what love looks like in public.”
The UUA is making racial justice programs a top priority and the Social Justice Ministry Team is diving in.
Martha Curry and Jack Butterworth attended an all-day national on line program, New Day Rising, earlier this month. As white people, we were among hundreds of UUs at two of the programs offered, Staying the Course and Difficult Conversations. We had the chance to see first-hand the elephants that exist in our spiritual room – and every other UU spiritual room and we want to share this with all of you in the months ahead.
Contact us at email@example.com with your thoughts, suggestions, or ideas. And please share what social justice work you've been doing, in photos or words.
Help Our Neighbors Fight Hunger!
March 4, 2021
Food insecurity is on the rise due to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic!
For more about our efforts with My Brother’s Table, click here. Contact Social Justice Ministry Team Members Clare Campbell, Michael Celona or Deb Boggs for details. To volunteer at the Lynn Community Health Center community food pantry, sign up at: LCHC Mobile Market Volunteers: Mobile Market 2021 (signupgenius.com). Questions? Email Michael Celona. Our Pop the Trunk food drive events to support Anchor Food Pantry, My Brother's Table and St. Stephen's Food Pantry, will continue throughout the year, so stay tuned for details!
Congregation-Wide Anti-Racism Learning & Action Initiative
June 5, 2020
The goal of this initiative is that all of us, whatever our race, class, sexual orientation or gender expression, educational level or theological position, will be more effective participants in the work of justice & liberation.
Read more the initiative here.
Our anti-racism resources are here.
ECCO, Our Social Justice Ministry Team, and You
This is a time of crisis and it gives us all a real opportunity to live our faith. SJMT supports our partner's initiative ECCO Covid-19 Response. There are real opportunities for you to help and to be involved, including:
* Employ Shine Together Co-op for grocery shopping and "take out" meal prep-all delivered to your door, using "no contact" standards (payment logistics currently being worked out, but identifying interested customers is very helpful!);
* Donate to support those at risk of homelessness or hunger - 100% of funds go directly to those in need;
* Volunteer to help Shine Together in "no contact" delivery;
* Receive or Provide Emotional Support.
For details and contact information, see "No One Stands Alone" below.
No One Stands Alone
We here at the UUCGL will be participating in all of these activities and will be reaching out to our church community, through calls and emails, in the coming days to ask if you are in need of food delivery services, or if you are willing to become involved in the Covid 19 Response in other ways; we will be providing you with the specifics on how you can donate and/or volunteer.
This is a time of crisis and it gives us all a real opportunity to live our faith.
To learn more about all of these opportunities, go to
and/or contact any of the following church members:
Thank you and stay well.
The Social Justice Ministry Team
The COVID-19 crisis is painful for everyone, but is hurting the most vulnerable among us the hardest - immigrants and people of color who so often pay the highest price in our unjust economy.To respond to the crisis, the Essex County Community Organization ( ECCO ), a North Shore organization with which the UUCGL has long partnered, is inviting our community to support one another, especially those most directly impacted, while also sowing seeds for a different future. There are three ways to make a difference:
First, you can donate and help raise funds for ECCO's No One Stands Alone COVID-19 Solidarity Fund , which will provide direct funds to ECCO families at severe risk of hunger and homelessness. Your contributions will go directly to ECCO families like that of Dolores, who has been sick with COVID-19 and has no way to pay the bills for herself and her two small children.
Second, you can support ECCO's immigrant worker-owned Co-op, "Shine Together", which has launched Shine Together Delivers to provide grocery shopping, and delivery services and the preparation of prepared meals during this time of crisis. You can act in solidarity by:
*Becoming a Solidarity Consumer that orders delicious prepared foods and/or groceries brought to your doorstep through no-contact delivery. Or, you can purchase gift certificates for future Shine Together cleaning services, to be redeemed once the COVID-19 crisis is over.
*Becoming a Solidarity Volunteer with Shine Together Delivers by shopping for groceries and/or offering no-contact delivery of Shine Together food and/or groceries.
Third, we invite you to offer and receive emotional solidarity to others in the ECCO community. You are invited to participate in this effort and/or to volunteer to help set up systems of emotional support.
Learn About the Sanctuary Movement
Given the growing urgency around Trump’s deporation machine even here in Massachusetts, where our neighbors are under threat of arbitrary arrest, detention and separation from their families and communities we must talk about our role in the humanitarian response to this crisis.
The three commitments of the UUA’s LOVE RESISTS campaign are:
Raise Our Voices
UUCGL has an opportunity to work in partnership with an interfaith network of people of conscience to provide rapid response support to those endangered by enforcement.
Please attend these worship services that will be informative, prayerful and discerning.
This toolkit from the UUA is hugely helpful in understanding our faith tradition’s history with Sanctuary and where we are now. It is a very good teaching tool and I encourage everyone to spend time reading it.
Here is an article about the First Parish UU In Bedford, which is a level one sanctuary church.
This is an excellent resource on a broad range of subjects regarding sanctuary congregations and faith-based immigrant advocacy.
Please also read our handout Sanctuary Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about what it means for our church to choose to provide sanctuary.