Faithful Action for Justice


Faithful Action for Justice

Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ

February 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.

Consistent with UCC tradition and governance, our mission teams provide information on issues that may be controversial, speaking to the congregation but not for the congregation. A vote by the entire congregation is required for any official statement by ORUCC.

News from Our Mission Teams and Groups


Heart Room

We celebrate very encouraging updates on progress of the six current Heart Room families! Families are moving forward to achieve their own goals, while addressing ongoing challenges, with support from Heart Room partners. They are finding and staying in better, affordable housing, moving forward with education, and balancing parental and work responsibilities. We look forward to sharing more stories of families’ progress in March.

We are also excited about conversations to support more families in Heart Room through wider partnerships. Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 27 at 8:45 a.m. if you’d like to participate in a fuller discussion. Contact Helene Nelson ([email protected]) or Bruce Olsen ([email protected]) if you have questions or suggestions.


Jane Ilgen Memorial Fund

In the Ilgen Fund’s inaugural year, we partnered with RISE Wisconsin’s Early Childhood Initiative to purchase nearly 200 brand-new books for young children in Southwest Madison! The selected books feature black, brown and indigenous stories, characters, authors and/or illustrators. This will provide RISE home visit staff a regular opportunity to read and provide books in which children in the program more often see themselves represented. One other bright spot: we were able to purchase books from the Itty Bitty Bookstore, a black woman owned small business in Stoughton.

If you would like to learn more about the Ilgen Fund, please contact chairperson Jen Walker.

NEW! 9 am Social Justice Programming

Our justice mission teams are collaborating on a new series, Sunday mornings at 9 am. Together let’s learn more and deepen our commitments to justice surrounding the season of Lent.

The schedule and topics include:

February 27: Immigration Justice

March 6: Racial Justice

March 13: Palestinian Justice Part I

March 20: Palestinian Justice Part II

March 27: Heart Room / Housing Justice

April 3 and 24: Care of Creation

May 1, 8 and 15: Housing Justice

Find more details about each topic in ORUCC’s February 23rd communication. Also note: this programming is not Java & Jesus programming, which will continue to take place virtually on Sundays at 11:30.

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. Volunteers can ‘adopt’ a school board outside Madison and stay informed about their agendas and local news around this issue. Those interested could likely do this from home in 1 to 2 hours per month. Also helpful, if you know people who live in other school districts who might help with this information. There are statewide meetings on Zoom on first Tuesdays at 6:30 pm and local meetings on Zoom on second Tuesdays at 1:30 pm. If interested, contact [email protected].

Learn About Justice Issues


From Care of Creation

The UCC’s Environmental Justice arm has a number of wonderful resources, including monthly Webinars and a blog. Here are a few recent topics that may be of interest. 

  • Webinar: 

Getting Congress to Act: Strategies Tactics and Vision for 2022

  • Blog

The Pollinator: UCC Environmental Justice Blog

The Chisholm Legacy Project

Inspired by the legacy of Shirley Chisholm, first African American woman elected to Congress, the Chisholm Legacy Project centers the leadership of black women to create a network that connects Black communities on the frontlines of climate justice with resources and tools to advance equitable and just systems change. Learn more on their website and blog.

From Immigration Justice

Immigration Words Matter

Under the Biden administration, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services changed its mission statement to include words like “welcome” and “respect.” The agency’s approach under the Biden administration diverges sharply from the Trump administration, which removed the phrase “nation of immigrants” from the mission statement four years ago. The Biden administration also moved to stop using the term “illegal alien” in public documents and speeches. The terms “illegal alien” and other slurs have been decried for decades as demeaning and disrespectful in immigration circles. As early as the 1980’s, immigrant rights activists responded with the slogan “No Human Being Is Illegal” and supported the use of the term “undocumented.”

Immigration 101

This article can serve as a great Immigration 101 for those interested in frequently asked questions about immigration and immigrants in general. Why don’t migrants crossing the US-Mexico border unlawfully get in line like everyone else? Did you know that low-skilled immigrants generally do not steal the jobs of native-born Americans? Read on!

From Palestinian Justice

Amnesty International joins a growing list of justice organizations labeling Israel and apartheid state. You may have heard about the momentous report published on February 1st by Amnesty International, which labels Israel an apartheid state. But did you know that the United Church of Christ has also declared Israel an apartheid state? This article by UCC members Thomas Beilman and Rev. Diane Dulin reveals how delegates to UCC General Synod in July 2021 voted overwhelmingly to condemn Israel’s military occupation of Palestine, to label Israel an apartheid state, and to call UCC members to action. Read More

Learn About Local Justice 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 primarily an information-sharing group of “justice” advocates in several Madison-area congregations. The group creates more inter-congregational connections (e.g., inviting each other to our events). Contact Pam Oliver if you would like to become involved: [email protected].

MOSES is a local, mixed-race group that brings a faith-based approach and emphasis on racial justice to community issues, including incarceration, policing, education, and children’s needs. MOSES is the Madison affiliate of WISDOM, a statewide organization. Representatives from MOSES will be speaking to ORUCC on March 6 at 9 am. 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

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 (contact Ken Psyck).

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