Earth and Social Justice Coordinating Council
The purpose of the Earth and Social Justice Coordinating Council (ESJCC) is to coordinate and support the earth and social justice (ESJ) ministries of East Shore Unitarian Church (ESUC) and to act as the ESJ liaison with other Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations and community groups. The Council shall incorporate the UU heritage of ESJ and the Seven Principles into the service we provide at East Shore
The Council shall consist of approximately 8 to 12 people, including representatives from the major focus team(s), worship, and religious education. Current Council members are Ann Fletcher, Jenny Hall, Dick Jacke, Marilyn Mayers, Susan Morrisson, Court Olson, Lynn Roesch, Laurie Wick, and Louise Wilkinson.
The Council believes that we exist in an interdependent web of all existence in which we strive to treat the earth and every person with inherent worth and dignity. The Council members acknowledge that efforts to respect the environment and to attain a community of peace, liberty, and justice are more effective when people inspire each other and work together.
Connection to East Shore’s Mission and Vision: The Council serves as a caring community inspired by our Unitarian Universalist heritage and Seven Principles to bring about peace and justice. The Council provides opportunities for people to grow their souls by presenting ways in which they can live their values. The Council offers a path of love, hope, and service so that social justice becomes an integral part of ESUC members’ and friends’ spiritual development.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Council follows democratically-chosen guidelines to assist the earth and social justice work at East Shore, maintain relationships with outside earth and social justice organizations, and monitor its own effectiveness. The current guidelines are to:
I. Support and empower ESJ Ministry Teams by:
- Receiving and evaluating any request for the formation of a new ESJ ministry team. Assisting an ESJ ministry team to disband when it has served out its useful purpose or lacks sustaining participation.
- Providing leadership training for ESJ team members and potential leaders.
- Assisting ESJ ministry teams with recruitment.
- Encouraging and empowering team activities through relationships and communications between Council members and teams.
- Fostering connections among teams.
- Nurturing team communications to the congregation by supporting the creation and use of a wide variety of communication tools.
II. Facilitate ESJ education and activities between ESUC, other UU congregations, and the broader community.
III. Serve as the ESJ contact point for communications from outside organizations and handle appropriately.
IV. Coordinate, review, and recommend alliances with related ESJ organizations outside ESUC.
V. Consult with the various ESJ ministry teams to provide input during the church budgeting process.
VI. Evaluate the Council’s effectiveness and its charter yearly.
VII. Perform other responsibilities as agreed upon with the Senior Leadership Team, the ESUC Board, or others in order to fulfill the Council’s purposes.
Liaison with the Congregation:
The Council will employ various avenues to encourage earth and social justice activities throughout ESUC. The current approaches are to:
I. Lead efforts to identify and prioritize issues that galvanize the congregation around one or two central ESJ foci ministry teams.
II. Facilitate the integration of earth and social justice into the life of the congregation, especially through religious education and worship.
III. Present educational and advocacy programs to inform and involve ESUC members and friends about current ESJ issues facing our local community, our region, our state, our country, and the wider world.
IV. Provide inspirational events that affirm and promote UU heritage and the Seven Principles and that may lead to congregants becoming engaged in ESJ action.
Timeline and Success of the Ministry
The Council serves as an ongoing group that convenes once a month or more, as necessary. The Council will assess its ministry by conducting a yearly evaluation.
Annual Goals for 2015-2016:
I. Write the Council Charter.
II. Create and begin to implement the process for working with the ministry teams.
III. Develop and maintain the ESJ activities calendar.
IV. Incorporate at least one of the Seven Principles into Council planning and activities.
V. Support engagement with ESJ community groups beyond ESUC.
VI. Collaborate with the Board, congregational staff, and new interim minister around earth and social justice.
VII. Conduct an internal Council evaluation at the end-of-the year celebration and prepare items for consideration at the beginning of the next congregational year.