ORUCC Faithful Action for Justice: May Newsletter


Faithful Action for Justice

Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ

May 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 Improvement and Expansion

Heart Room continues to support families with young children to find and keep stable housing. Five new families will be added to the current pilot program this summer, with funds already raised by our church.


Meanwhile, the Heart Room partners are exploring opportunities to engage more partners to improve and expand on this pilot program in the future. We are hopeful and enthusiastic about possibilities to do more and do better to help families. One area of focus will be serving more immigrant families, as this has been a Heart Room strength. We’re meeting with key immigrant leaders in the community around this opportunity. We’re also exploring other opportunities to do more and better for all children and families in this difficult housing market.

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Black Child Book Fair Tour in Madison brings an opportunity to partner

In April 2022, the Black Child Book Fair came to Madison for the first time. This event aims to improve literacy in Black communities by traveling to cities across the United States, promoting books written by Black authors and centering Black characters and stories. It is an important opportunity for many Black and brown children to meet authors and to see characters in books that look like themselves.

ORUCC reached out to local organizers in Madison and donated a portion of this year’s Jane Ilgen Literacy Fund to give books to about 20 children. Recipients were able to browse the book fair, meet authors, and choose a book that they would most want to read. Thanks to the connection that was made, we hope to partner with the local organizer of this event in the future. 

Opportunities for Action or Service

Men’s Shelter Donations Needed

ORUCC’s Christian Witness and Service ministry shares that coffee and trial-size personal hygiene items are needed for the Men’s shelter in downtown Madison. They can be dropped off at the shelter at 200 N. First Street or at the Porchlight office at 306 N Brooks Street.

Faithful Stance for Equity

Wisconsin Council of Churches, WISDOM, and Faith Voices for Justice have a campaign called Faithful Stance for Equity that is concerned with defending public schools from attacks on diversity programming and support for LGBTQ+ youth.

Monthly statewide Zoom meetings on First Tuesdays at 6:30 pm put you in touch with people from around the state and have featured informative and useful programming. Attendees have found it a great way to get out of the Madison bubble and learn more about what is happening elsewhere in Wisconsin. There are also local meetings on Zoom on second Tuesdays at 1:30 pm. ORUCC’s Karen Jaehnig has been attending regularly and wrote more about these meetings on an ORUCC blog.

Learn About Justice Issues

From Care of Creation

Shared Solar Impact

One way that ORUCC demonstrates its commitment to local clean energy is through participation in MG&E’s Shared Solar program. We received an impact statement report from Shared Solar in 2021. View the report to learn more about the benefits of our emission offsets in our community.

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From Immigration Justice

In recent news:

The Supreme Court Overturning Roe v. Wade Could Have Harmful Ripple Effects for Immigrants

Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, could have damaging effects to immigrant rights secured through the courts. Read More »


USCIS Lengthens Work Permit Automatic Extension Period to Address Adjudication Delays

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a temporary rule that extends employment authorization for certain noncitizens waiting for USCIS to process their work permit renewal applications. As of December 2021, over 80,000 noncitizens had lost or would soon lose the right to work because of adjudication delays and a growing backlog. Read More »

From Palestinian Justice


Palestinian author Rev. Mitri Raheb to speak in Madison Friday, June 3rd


The esteemed author, educator, and theologian, Mitri Raheb, will be speaking in Madison on Friday, June 3rd. We have seen Raheb speak on two previous occasions, and can attest to the power and truth of his testimony and the strong impact he established as Senior Pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem.

Reverend Raheb sustains an institutional connection with the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ, and was a guest preacher at the UCC General Synod 30 in Cleveland. The Wisconsin Conference partners with Bright Stars of Bethlehem, an organization which raises funds for Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in BethlehemRaheb is founder and president of that university.


Event Location: Midvale Community Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd, Madison

When: Friday, June 3rd, 7pm

Register: Online or in-person at the door.

For more information, please refer to the event flyer. We hope to see you there!  

Tom Beilman and Diane Dulin

503-779-9171 (Tom cell), 503-779-9173 (Diane cell)

From Racial Justice

Learn about and discuss school safety issues

MOSES will host an on-line discussion of school safety issues at its general meeting on June 5th. ORUCC members and others community members are invited to attend. Speakers will present information compiled from Madison schools about the activities of school resource officers in 2019, and will invite open discussion from others about their experiences in local schools about what policies contribute to creating a safe environment for all students and staff. There will also be an opportunity to talk this information over in small groups. 

When: June 5, 2:30-4:30 pm.

Where: Via Zoom, https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81036805998

Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice Annual Celebration and Fundraiser

Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice invites supporters to its annual celebration on June 9 at 7pm. The event is virtual. They will honor Rev. Dr. Marcus Allen from Madison, and Judge Derek Mosley and Pastor Karen Hagen from Milwaukee. The organization hopes to raise $15,000 as part of this celebration.

For more information and a registration link, visit: www.wisconsinfaithvoicesforjustice.org

Learn About Local Justice Groups

Anti-racism Community Read in Monona

On May 14th, the City of Monona kicked off a Community Read focused on anti-racism. Participants of all ages have the opportunity to read featured books collectively and take action together. The initiative will feature educational programs and speakers throughout the summer.

Featured books include Ibrham X. Kenid’s How to be an Antiracist (adults), Tiffany Jewell’s This Book is Anti-Racist (tweens & teens), and Jessica Ralli and Megan Madison’s Our Skin: A First Conversation about Race (children & families). To learn more, visit Monona’s Community Read website

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.

“The movement of the spirit of God in the hearts of people often causes them to act against the spirit of their times, or causes them to anticipate a spirit which is yet in the making. In a moment of dedication they are given wisdom and courage to dare a deed that challenges and to kindle a hope that inspires.”

-Howard Thurman