Faithful Action for Justice – January 2022


Faithful Action for Justice

Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ


January 2022

Welcome to Faithful Action for Justice Announcements, messages from ORUCC’s Justice missions (Care of Creation, Immigration Justice, Heart Room, Racial Justice, Christian Witness and Service).

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, reach out to a project’s contact person to learn more, and consider joining or click on links to read more.

News from Our Mission Teams and Groups

What kinds of racial justice programs would interest you?

The Racial Justice Mission Team wants to know what types of programs about racial justice issues you might want us to put on in 2022. We’ve prepared a short survey to help us plan.

Click here to take the short survey about racial justice programs


Exploring Opportunities for Expanding Heart Room with Partners

Heart Room helps families find and keep stable housing, as a platform for children to grow up safe, healthy and successful. In 2022, ORUCC and our Heart Room professional partners will explore opportunities to build on Heart Room success in order to serve more families.

Heart Room partners will meet in late January to kick off an action-oriented planning process. One possible emphasis will be serving more immigrant families, consistent with our congregation’s commitment for wide welcome of immigrant neighbors and advocacy for immigrant justice. As this and other options for expansion are developed, we’ll reach out to other congregations and community partners to learn if and how they’d like to be involved. Stay tuned for more information, or contact Helene Nelson with questions and suggestions ([email protected]).

Thanksgiving Year-Round Fund

Through the generosity of ORUCC members to the Thanksgiving Year-Round Fund from mid-October to mid-December, we were able to give approximately 58 families a $50 gift certificate to a nearby supermarket for groceries just before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The families were selected based on needs identified through the work of our community partners — Joining Forces for Families, Early Childhood Initiative, RISE, and Common Wealth Development.  

This fund is coordinated by the Christian Witness and Service Ministry team. CWS is very grateful for the donations made to allow this generous gift of food. 

In early 2021, CWS voted to retain the annual Thanksgiving Fund drive as an open, online account throughout the year to meet emergency food needs in our Southwest Madison neighborhood. In 2022, as the pandemic continues, this online account remains open for donations to meet emergency food needs.


Housing Assistance

ORUCC has several programs providing housing assistance for people in Southwest Madison sponsored by our ministry of Christian Witness and Service including Keeping Neighbors Connected and the Southwest Madison Action Coalition. Read More

Opportunities for Action or Service

Monitoring Schools for Equity

Wisconsin Council of Churches, WISDOM, and Faith Voices for Justice have a campaign called Faithful Stance for Justice that is seeking to defend schools from campaigns trying to force schools to lie to students about US history under the guise of opposing “critical race theory” and other attacks. It would be helpful to have volunteers “adopt” a school board outside Madison and monitor their agendas and local news about what is happening. You can do this from home on the Internet and it would probably involve only an hour or two a month. If this is something you might be able to help with, contact [email protected] . Also helpful if you know people who live in other school districts who might help compile information.

Help with this newsletter

We are looking for a few people to help compile news and edit this Faith in Action newsletter. We are using very simple tools (Google docs and/or Microsoft Word). If you have regular access to a computer and Internet and can spend 1-4 hours a month on the project, contact Pam Oliver [email protected] You can also send us relevant news bits.

Things you Can Learn More About

Film About Hidden Homelessness in Dane County

There will be a virtual screening January 20 6-7 pm of the short film Not Homeless Enough by Diane Nilan, followed by a discussion with her and local activists about how to support people in our community. The film emphasizes people who are disqualified from official homeless programs because they are doubling up with others or paying to live in a hotel. Madison Public Library and the Doubled Up Workgroup are cosponsoring. The event is free but you need to pre-register.

Discussions of schools and safety

As part of being in MOSES, ORUCC RJMT member Pam Oliver has attended meetings about the fight at East High and concerns about maintaining safe schools and helping children resolve conflicts without police in schools. Freedom Inc. opposes have police assigned to schools and has published a handout with their answers to frequently asked questions about why schools are safer without police, including dealing with weapons, fights, behavioral issues; why not build better police-student relations, why community control of schools, and why focus on Black students and students of color.

From Care of Creation: Spotlight on Environmental Justice

Earth Journalism Network sponsored a one-hour Webinar on how the worst impacts of climate and environmental change mostly fall on the poorest and most marginalized communities in the US. Speakers: Lisa Garcia, previously a senior advisor to the EPA and now the head of Fix, Grist’s Solutions Lab; Drew Costly, a staff writer and multimedia journalist at OneZero; and Sweta Daga, a freelance reporter based in India who served a a Fellow for the People’s Archive of Rural India.


Webinar: Spotlight on Climate and Environmental Justice

Justified Anger Black History Class

“Black History For A New Day” course begins Feb. 7, 2022. It meets for nine weeks on Mondays and is virtual. Registration ends on Jan. 22, 2022. More info at: Go to “Justified Anger” for course description and registration.

Mass Incarceration in Wisconsin

Once again, Wisconsin has the highest rate of incarcerating Black people in the nation. WISDOM , a state-wide faith-based organization with chapters around the state including MOSES in Madison, is running a 5-week Zoom series about mass incarceration and racial disparities in Wisconsin 6:30-8pm on Thursdays Jan 27-Feb 24. It will explain the different aspects of the system, including front end issues that happen before prison, sentencing conditions of confinement, revocations and supervision, programs to release people, and local issues. There will be options for involvement for people without much time and options for people who want to become deeply involved. Beginners are welcome who just want to learn more about the issues. Flyer with more information.

American Churches Complicity with Racism with First Baptist

First Baptist will be having an online book discussion on Sunday evenings 7-8 pm January 23-February 27 about Jemar Tisby’s book The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism. A video of Tisby speaking is on the book website. The book is available as a paper book, ebook, and audio book and is available through the library. You can get more information and register to get the zoom link at


First Methodist learning about Native American issues

First Methodist Church began with the idea of developing a land acknowledgement, but then realized there is a great deal to learn and do to make that something meaningful. They have put on a variety of informational events, some in collaboration with Grace Episcopal, and are working with Native American staff members from Madison College. Beginning on January 5, their Wednesday evening class that has been focused on African American history will instead be focused on Native Americans. Contact Carol Oliver [email protected] if you would be interested in participating in the class with them.

More information about the class on Native Americans.

Information About Local Groups

ORUCC is a member of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice which sponsors the Dane Sanctuary Coalition and other community projects. Read a list of their recent activities


Madison Faith Justice Collaborative is a group of “justice” advocates in several Madison-area congregations who are seeking to create more inter-congregational connections among the people doing justice work, including inviting each other to our events. This is primarily involving information-sharing If you would like to be involved with this, contact Pam Oliver [email protected].

MOSES is a mixed-race group that brings a faith-based approach and an emphasis on racial justice to local issues including incarceration, policing, education, and children’s needs. If you are interested in learning more about this, contact Pam Oliver [email protected]


The racial justice mission team has compiled a list of local organizations that are led by Black people or other people of color and a list of other local anti-racist organizations. We plan to write short descriptions of them in coming newsletters.

About our Missions

Click here to read more about our Justice Mission teams and projects: Care of Creation (contact Sara Roberts), Immigration Justice (contact Ruthanne Landness), Racial Justice (contact Pam Oliver), Heart Room and Housing Justice (contact Helene Nelson). These mission teams are looking for new members. Reach out to learn more if you are interested. Our ministry of Christian Witness and Service (contact Ken Psyck) also sponsors justice activities.

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

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justice now. Love mercy now. Walk humbly now. You are not required to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. (Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s poetic translation of a Talmudic commentary on Micah.)