ORUCC Faithful Action for Justice


Faithful Action for Justice

Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ

December 2022

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

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

Opportunities for Action or Service

Supporting neighbors during a season of giving

Holiday Sponsors needed for Meadowood Health Partnership’s Family Christmas Program

As we have for the past several years, ORUCC is recruiting members to participate in the Meadowood Health Partnership’s Christmas gift drive for our neighbors in need. 

A ‘Holiday Sponsor’ can be an individual, a family, or a ‘sponsor group’ of friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Sponsors are assigned to a family size of their choice and given a list of needed or wanted items. The sponsor is responsible for purchasing and wrapping these items. Gifts are due by December 20th.

If interested, please contact Maureen Murphy, [email protected], or Sheray Wallace, [email protected].

Thank you for helping out a family in need this Holiday Season! 

Contribute to the Thanksgiving Year-Round Fund

When school is in recess during these holidays, many neighborhood families struggle to find the dollars to buy groceries.  

The ORUCC Thanksgiving Year-Round Fund provides food assistance year-round to these families, but especially so at this time of the year. Our social work partners distribute food and gas gift cards to Southwest Madison neighbors – purchased via donations to our FUND.

You can ask questions and learn more about this Fund at a table set up at ORUCC on Sunday December 4 and 11. The table will be staffed by ORUCC members who have seen the good things that these gift cards do for families in need. 

You can make donations at the table, or at any time by going to https://orucc.org/contribute/support/ and clicking on the link-box “Contribute to the Thanksgiving Year-Round Fund”  Thank you!

A Brighter Holiday for Youth Affected by Parental Incarceration

JustDane’s Mentoring Connections program is designed to invest in the future of Dane County youth who are affected by parental incarceration. The Mentoring Connections Annual Holiday Party will take place in December, and JustDane would love to receive donations of gifts, Visa gift cards, or financial support for the party. If you would like to give, simply complete this form or drop off your gift at 2115 S. Park St. by December 12th. See the link for further details.

All donations through the website will go to the Mentoring Connections Party unless specified that it be used for gifts, in which case check the box labeled “I’d like to dedicate this gift” and “dedicate” the donation to “gifts for children”.

Moms on a Mission is a grassroots group of mothers and others who show up outside East High School every day to foster a nonviolent environment by being present, creating relationships, and de-escalating conflict. You can help this mission by contributing money to pay for snacks for the youth that MOMs distributes during the lunch period. You can also sign up as a volunteer to be present at East High during the lunch period. To read more about this mission and donate for snacks or volunteer see https://justdane.org/moms/. JustDane is acting as the fiscal agent for these contributions.  

Upcoming Community Events

Longest Night Homeless Persons Memorial Service

JustDane organizes an annual event to commemorate people who have died while experiencing homelessness in our community. The event is called Longest Night Homeless Persons Memorial Service, which will be held this year on Wednesday, December 21st, starting at 3 pm.

How to participate: gather on the Capitol Square at the intersection of East Main, South Pinckney Street and King Street. The group will hold a brief outdoor service and then proceed around the Capitol led by a horse drawn hearse. Donations of warm socks, long underwear, scarves, gloves, and hats can be dropped at First Congregational United Church of Christ at 1609 University Avenue in Madison. This letter from JustDane provides additional information.

Dane County Faith Based Housing Summit

January 31st, 8:30-2:00

Location: Orchard Ridge UCC (1501 Gilbert Ave, Madison)

Faith communities in Dane County are invited to a Faith-Based Housing Summit, for a conversation about creating and supporting affordable housing. Speakers include Prof. Kurt Paulsen of UW Madison on the state of housing in Wisconsin, Rev. Mark Elsdon of Rooted Good & The Pres House on the faith communities’ call and assets they can add to this conversation, and Don Bernards of Baker Tilly on logistics to consider as we enter work around affordable housing. There will also be a time to network and for those gathered to brainstorm actions the faith community can take together to address the need for affordable housing in Dane County.  This summit is intended for people who are committed to working on issues around housing in our community.

To learn more, visit the WI Council of Churches informational page.

Register Here

Updates From Our Mission Teams and Groups

Heart Room Moves Forward – Consider Joining In!

Heart Room will expand in 2023! This year, ORUCC is providing rental assistance for 8 families with young children to find and keep stable housing. The families are off to a great start, with support from ORUCC members and our partners: The Road Home (TRH), Early Childhood Initiative, and Joining Forces for Families. 

Heart Room partners plan to add new families in 2023, with rental assistance provided by other congregations or community organizations. The proposed County budget includes added funding for The Road Home to provide housing case management and facilitate our partnership efforts.

The ORUCC Heart Room Team would love to add new members, as we gear up to support Heart Room families now and future program expansion. Would you like to learn more and consider joining us? Please contact Heart Room team member Bruce Olsen [email protected] or 608-347-0869.  

Racial Justice Mission Team

The racial justice mission team welcomes new members. We are seeking to expand our programming on racial justice issues and are looking for your ideas about what you’d like to see. Contact [email protected] if you would like more information or to make suggestions. We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 9 – 10:30 am, with flexibility to adjust meeting times for new members.

Learn About Justice Issues

From Palestinian Justice

A sea-change in public sentiment 

Most readers will recognize the name of Shireen Abu Akleh, the prominent American journalist of Palestinian descent who was shot and killed last May by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). While wearing the blue vest of a press reporter, with “PRESS” prominently displayed, Abu Akleh was assassinated while covering an IDF raid on a Palestinian refugee camp. 

Less well known, perhaps, is the unprecedented push by members of Congress to hold Israel accountable for this killing. Nearly half of all Democratic members of the Senate have signed a letter calling for an independent, thorough and transparent investigation into Abu Akleh’s killing. Even the FBI (US Department of Justice), with support from influential members of Congress, has opened an investigation into this killing. (The Israeli government, it should be noted, has refused to cooperate with the FBI investigation of the death of this American citizen.)  

Such an outspoken demand for transparency and accountability would not have been possible a few years ago. It represents a sea-change in public sentiment. Increasingly, Americans are viewing Israel as an apartheid regime and demanding justice and equality for Palestinians living under this regime. 

Thomas Beilman and Diane Dulin

From Racial Justice

The Wisconsin Faithful Stance for Equity partners have collected Teach the Truth recordings for 2022. Local people tell the truth about our history in short (5 minute or so) statements about history. Check it out. 

MOSES (Madison Organizing in Strength, Equity, and Solidarity)

ORUCC recently joined MOSES (Madison Organizing in Strength, Equity and Solidarity). MOSES is a grassroots, interfaith, nonpartisan, racially-mixed, non-profit organization working for transformative justice in Dane County and Wisconsin that is part of WISDOM, a statewide organization with chapters in multiple cities. Most of our members belong to faith communities, but others are unaffiliated individuals committed to social justice. We hope that you will prayerfully consider how you might become involved!

To learn more:

  • Read a blog article by ORUCC members Barbie Jackson and Pam Oliver on ORUCC’s website. It provides more details about MOSES, and includes links to register for the events below or sign up for the MOSES mailing list. 
  • Download a copy of the most recent MOSES newsletter to learn more.

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: Ken Psyck).

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