ORUCC Faithful Action for Justice


Faithful Action for Justice

Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ

April 2024

Faithful Action for Justice provides announcements and information from ORUCC’s Justice missions (Care of Creation, Immigration Justice, Heart Room, Racial Justice, Christian Witness and Service, Palestine Justice).

Nobody can do everything. Saying yes to some things requires saying no to others. Our health and obligations limit us. As you read, briefly celebrate and pray for people doing something you will not join. As you feel called, click on links or reach out to a project’s contact person to learn more.

Our justice mission teams provide information on issues that may be controversial, speaking to the congregation but not for the congregation.

In this issue

  • Palestine Justice. Check out our resources
  • Immigration Justice. Report on the trip to the border by Pastor Julia, Ruthanne Landsness’s five weeks at Casa Alitas, and current issues.
  • MOSES. Forming an ORUCC core team, update on prison lockdowns and call for releasing those incarcerated on crimeless revocations, statement from WISDOM Executive Committee calling for ceasefire in Gaza.

Palestine Justice

From the Palestine Justice Mission Team

Thank you for joining us April 7 for a discussion with Usama Nicola.

Want to learn more? Check out our Recommended Resources at https://orucc.org/justice/palestine.

New members are welcome. Contact Tom Beilman or Diane Dulin with any questions.

Immigration Justice News

Our Immigration Justice Team chair, Ruthanne Landsness, returned from 5 weeks in Tucson and Casa Alitas right before Easter. Ruthanne volunteers at Casa Alitas, the immigrant welcome center in Tucson, AZ. She reports on two highlights in particular during her time there.


The first highlight was hosting Pastor Julia for a 6-day visit in Tucson. During her stay, Julia engaged in many of the same activities as those of the ORUCC mission trip in 2015, plus some extras. This included distributing clothing to children and families at Casa Alitas, traveling to Nogales, Mexico to greet asylum seekers waiting for permissions to enter the United States, and meetings with UCC Pastors Randy Mayer and Delle McCormick, UCC clergy deeply involved in immigration justice work. Julia’s reflections on her time of “seeing Jesus at the border” are beautifully captured in her Palm Sunday sermon available on the ORUCC website.


The second highlight was being involved in advocacy for continued federal funding of Casa Alitas and other humanitarian aid centers at the border. Due to the failure of federal legislative action, federal funding for Casa Alitas was scheduled to terminate on April 1, 2024, forcing the closure of all but one of the Casa Alitas shelters and, even more importantly, prompting the street-release by Border Patrol of at least 1,000 people per day onto the streets of Tucson. This was all amidst vitriolic theatre and harassment from right-wing activists, including our own Wisconsin Representative. Fortunately, after having prepared for a worst-case scenario, President Biden signed an appropriation that grants funding through the end of June 2024. A big sigh of relief all round, coupled with renewed strategies for funding beyond June 2024.


Please use the following links for information about the abated funding crisis and a look at immigration policy from the left and from the right.

Link 1 (Wisconsin State Journal article about attacks on groups aiding immigrants at the border, including Casa Alitas)

Link2 (New York Times article about illegal border crossings)

News from MOSES

MOSES is formally affiliated with WISDOM, a statewide social justice organization. As part of the WISDOM network in Wisconsin, MOSES is fully invested in WISDOM’s actions.

ORUCC is Forming a MOSES Core Team

The Racial Justice Mission Team has received brief reports on the goals and activities of MOSES since ORUCC became an official member in 2022.  Last month RJMT agreed to create a MOSES Core Team, which will initially meet quarterly for one hour. We are happy to report that six people have indicated willingness to participate thus far. The team will dig deeper into learning about the work of MOSES. Ultimately, the team will advise active MOSES participants on questions of MOSES advocacy work to provide an ORUCC perspective.

Pam Oliver, as ORUCC’s representative to the MOSES Leadership Board, and Barbie Jackson, who also attends the board meetings, will receive WISDOM training in May about how to support effective Core Teams within our congregation.  They hope this will assist in developing a deeper engagement in this important work within the ORUCC community. Watch for scheduling in future announcements.

MOSES & WISDOM Update on Prison Lockdowns

Last month WISDOM requested all affiliates throughout the state to issue a statement calling for an end to the Prison Lockdowns. In response, MOSES delivered this press release to 34 media outlets in the Dane County area.  It states in part:

“As Governor Evers looks for a new Corrections Secretary, he needs to make clear that the first priority must be to close GBCI and WCI. The Administration has the authority to do this. About 5,000 people in Wisconsin prisons are there because of a crimeless revocation — they broke a rule of supervision or parole, but did not commit a new crime. The Department of Corrections has complete discretion over whether or not such people are sent to prison. Other states have drastically reduced their prison populations just by cutting back on crimeless revocations — even Wisconsin reduced its prison numbers significantly during COVID in this way. There are fewer than 2,000 people imprisoned in GBCI and WCI combined. Just a 40% reduction in crimeless revocations would enable Wisconsin to completely depopulate both of these prisons.”

WISDOM Executive Committee Message Calls for Immediate, Permanent Ceasefire

WISDOM’s Executive Committee issued this statement to all members of its statewide network. It states in part:

“Normally, as the WISDOM Executive Committee we do not get involved in issues of foreign policy, where we have no expertise. Regarding the current enormous loss of life and humanitarian nightmare in Gaza, we feel a need to make an exception. . . In the same way that the decades of unjust treatment of Palestinians cannot justify many of the actions of October 7, the actions of October 7 cannot justify the brutal bombardment and starvation of people in Gaza in the subsequent five months. There must be an immediate and permanent ceasefire.”

Please contact Pam Oliver or Barbie Jackson if you would like to learn more about MOSES.

About our Missions

Interested? Reach out to learn more about our justice teams and projects. Our mission teams welcome your time, talent and energy!

In addition, our Christian Witness and Service ministry connects members to a variety of opportunities to support justice activities (chair:LuAnn Greiner)

Let us love and care for ourselves and each other as we work together for justice and mercy.