ORUCC Faithful Action for Justice


Faithful Action for Justice

Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ

June 2023

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

From Palestinian Justice

A unique opportunity for travel to Palestine


“I can tell you from my own experience, if you get an opportunity to travel to the Middle East, and in particular to go behind the walls of the Occupied Territory, like me, your life will be transformed by the experience.” – The Rev. John Dorhauer, President, United Church of Christ


We are pleased to share with you this announcement of an extraordinary witness trip to Palestine-Israel, July 8-17, 2023. Led by the esteemed international human rights lawyer Jonathan Kuttab and Columbia University post-doctoral fellow Nyle Fort, the trip includes visits to Bethlehem, Jericho and Hebron, also Al Aqsa (considered the third holiest site in Islam) in Occupied East Jerusalem. Participants will meet with Palestinian Christians, Muslims, Samaritans, Jewish Israelis and internationals who are working to uplift international and humanitarian law. The trip is sponsored by Friends of Sabeel-North America (FOSNA), a leading human rights education and advocacy group for which Diane Dulin serves on the Board of Directors. Questions? Contact us!   


Tom Beilman and Diane Dulin 

Casa Alitas 2023 clothing drive

Yes, it’s time to start bagging up those clothes that you haven’t worn for a while and let us transport them to the border to people who desperately need them. The Immigration Justice Team will collect clothing the last week of June (beginning June 25) and the first two weeks of July. Please do not bring clothing to the church prior to Sunday, June 25.

What to bring?

All clothing needs to be washed.

Casual summer and non-bulky winter clothing

No socks or underwear

Shoes are a yes, esp. flip flops, sandals or tennies

S, M, L (not XL) men’s clothing

Jeans, jeans and more jeans

Waist 28” to 34”; Length 27” to 32¨

T-Shirts (love sports themed shirts)


Belts (small)

Caps; jackets; sweaters

S, M, L (not XL) women’s clothing

Jeans, lycra pants

T-Shirts and jackets; sweaters

No blouses

Kid’s clothing

Toddler through 16

Consider joining us as we box up the clothing. If interested, please contact Ruthanne Landsness, [email protected]; 608/234-2882. Thank you!

News From Our Mission Teams

Good News about Heart Room!

Heart Room, a pilot project partnership to help families thrive in stable housing, is set to serve more families starting this summer!

One of the eight families ORUCC is supporting will graduate early into permanent subsidized housing. A new family will be enrolled as a result – using funds ORUCC members already contributed for rent assistance.

Four more new families will start this summer.  Rental assistance will be funded by other congregations, individuals, and foundations. Services will be contributed by Dane County and nonprofit partners (The Road Home, Joining Forces for Families, and the Early Childhood Initiative).

ORUCC will help keep this vital mission going, through our Heart Room Mission Team. New members are joining more experienced members as we go forward to support families and to keep learning from this successful pilot program.

Bruce Olsen, a long-time Mission Team member, and Jen Walker, will co-chair the Team effective June 1. Feel free to contact them for more information!

Former chair Helene Nelson, Treasurer John Day, and founding member Megan Piper continue as Team members, joined by new members Susan Dovell and Becky Baumbach.

Thanks, ORUCC friends, for helping young children and their families thrive in our community.

From the Ministry of Christian Witness & Service

In May 2023, CWS members approved disbursement of $600 to The Village Diaper Bank from the CWS discretionary outreach support budget. This gesture was in response to a request by ORUCC member Jordan Brown, a high school senior who featured The Village Diaper Bank and its director, Megan Sollenberger, in an article that Jordan wrote as part of a writing class assignment. Jordan was impressed by the service that the Village Diaper Bank provides to families in our community and wished to do something to support this initiative. She reached out to our CWS team with a request for a cash donation in the amount equivalent to the cost of diapers for 2 children for an entire year ($600). That is a lot of diapers!! Thank you, Jordan Brown, for taking the initiative to bring the work of The Village Diaper Bank to our attention. It provides us with yet another opportunity to live out our congregation’s commitment to justice!

From Racial Justice

Should we reactivate a justice team to support gay and trans people?

In the white christian nationalism (wcn) class sponsored by the racial justice mission team, we discussed how those advocating white supremacy are also supporting patriarchy, opposing abortion rights, opposing environmentalism, and fomenting hate towards gay and trans people.

ORUCC adopted its “open and affirming” stance in 1992 and we are proud that gay, trans, and straight children have grown up in our church knowing they are loved by God and the church. For thirty years, ORUCC members have carried the church banner in gay rights “Pride” marches. Members of ORUCC participated in city-wide coalitions around defending gay rights. ORUCC’s SAFE (Spiritually Affirming Friends Everywhere) created a community of support among gay and straight members and offered educational programs in the 1990s and 2000s. SAFE was eventually disbanded for a variety of reasons, one of them being it was felt it was no longer needed, that gay and lesbian people were fully embraced and accepted by our congregation. As trans adults and children came out among us, we fully embraced them. The 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage seemed to signal a strong move toward LGBTQI+ inclusion and equality in American society.

But now, while our congregation still fully embraces and loves our gay and trans members, the external climate has changed. We have heard from many of our gay and trans members that they are feeling afraid, worried that they will open their doors to find guns in their faces. Pastor Julia has scheduled a second annual interfaith pride service Aug 20th and a Trans Day of Remembrance service Nov 20th. Our OWL (youth sex education) coordinators have been gathering resources from the joint OWL project of the UCC and the Unitarian Universalists.  Perhaps it is time for our congregation as a whole to re-activate its explicit defense of gay and trans rights. Should there be a new mission team formed around defending gay and trans people?

June 9 film on humane vs. inhumane prison systems

At First Unitarian Friday June 9, free dinner at 5:30, film at 6:30, discussion after with people impacted by incarceration. “Breaking the Cycle” is a film that contrasts the humane prison system in Halden, Norway, to systems in the United States.

Sponsored by MOSES MinistryTeam, EXPO, JustDane, and UWOdyssey Project.

Admission is free. Advance registration needed for the meal Sign up at Eventbrite link: https://bit.ly/3WEaaIy

Past MOSES events

“Let Justice Roll Down Like a River”

On May 18, Wisconsin State Public Defender Kelli Thompson described her department’s work to a MOSES-sponsored gathering: defending the most defenseless of those accused of crimes in Wisconsin. Thompson’s department has offices in 40 Wisconsin counties and representatives in all 72 counties. Her department handles 125,000 to 135,000 cases a year. It also has two appellate offices that handle all appeals.

“It is a privilege to be advocating for people that have no voice in the system, an overburdened, unjust system,” she said. “We represent the most vulnerable and see to it that their constitutional rights are protected. We see a lot of failure every day: failure of the

system. [For example,] the rehabilitation part is so often missing.”

Thompson touched on many of the issues that MOSES and WISDOM address including: 

the practice of jailing people not convicted of a crime; mental health and the criminal-legal system; children prosecuted as adults. Over 8,500 people leave the corrections system every year, Thompson said, but fewer than 1,000 get the programming they need because our prisons are woefully understaffed.

“The Right to Read”

Members of MOSES’ Education Advocacy Group attended a free screening of the film, The Right to Read, sponsored by The Reading League and Madison College. The film features Kareem Weaver, an Oakland NAACP activist, who believes literacy is our most important civil right. He narrates the stories of families struggling with their children’s reading challenges and the teachers trying to address them. The racial disparities in reading proficiency that existed in Oakland—and the reason they exist—are present in Madison as well and are the focus of the EAG’s current efforts.

Watch for the next MOSES Newsletter in July for a fuller discussion of these two events.

MOSES general meetings are the first Sunday of the month 2:30-4:30 with a social time before the meeting 2-2:30. Next meeting is July 9. Location to be determined. The location and Zoom link for those unable to attend in person will be distributed by email from MOSES and posted in event on the MOSES calendar.

New attendees are always welcome. General meetings feature racial equity discussions, informational presentations about local issues, and short presentations from MOSES working groups.

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.