Church News


For the month of October, the Social Justice Council solicits your proposals for both local and global focus issues!

For almost ten years, we have used the “Gardiner/Rollins Model for Social Justice” (with modifications) for UUCS. This UU model was developed because of the serious problems in our city, our nation, and our world can seem overwhelming. We may ask how we can have any impact in the face of the enormity of need and suffering. And how can we summon the energy and the ideas to help make our world better? This model gives us a structure to focus our energy, our enthusiasm, and our work so that we do make a difference.

We commit to one or two issues by vote at the annual congregational meeting and then focus on those issues for one or two (or four) years. Then, we bring that focus to a close and begin the process again by choosing new issues to study through the winter and to vote on at the spring meeting.

The Earth Day Festival has been our 4-year focus, exciting, challenging, and a major investment of church time and energy. We won’t be hosting a community festival next year, but we will stay engaged with the earth day issues in a smaller way (with USC-Upstate) while we re-focus on different issues.

We, the Social Justice Council, solicit your proposals for possible local focus issues and global issues for the next one to two years (beginning June 2020). We can work together to make a change in our community with local issues, e.g., volunteer at a youth group, speak up at city council meetings, participate in a Habitat for Humanity build, hold a food drive, join League of Women Voters’ voter registration activities, host an MLK day activity, offer tutoring at a group home for ex-cons., etc. With global issues, it can be harder, but not impossible, to have an impact. But you can network and plan local activities that do have a wider impact. Where would you like to put your time, your talent, your work, to use? What issues matter most to you?

Cambodian children receive free books from Roadscholar guide

Immigration justice? Child detention?

Homelessness? Hunger?

Deaths by gun violence, including suicide. Safety for children, for women, for everyone.

Citizenship and voting rights

Our criminal justice system? Have you heard of the campaign to “End Money Bail? On any given night, more than 450,000 people in the United States who have not been convicted of any crime are locked up in jail simply because they don’t have enough money to pay bail. From who is arrested, to who is incarcerated and for how long, to how ex-cons are treated, our system of justice is a series of injustices. For a little info, go to

For many more ideas on the UUA and UU Service Committee issues and campaigns, go to Tell me what matters most to you and why– email me at All this month, we are soliciting ideas from the congregation.

At our next SJ meeting, we’ll discuss all the ideas. Our meeting Wednesday, Nov 6, 7:00, in the fellowship hall at UUCS, is open to all, but if you want to share an idea, please email and ask for a spot on the agenda! We’ll have a couple additional meetings to choose which ideas to present to the congregation. From January through April, our minister and our SJ Council will present Sunday services, educational sessions and articles as well as mini-activities to prepare for the congregational vote at our annual meeting in May. Then in June, we begin the work of implementing our plans. This is an exciting and energizing way to make our community and our world a better place!

Work Is Love Made Visible ~Khalil Gibran

Alice Sutton, chair, SJ Council

Spartanburg Earth Day Festival – Onward and Upward!

Four years ago, UUCS created the Spartanburg Earth Day Festival. From its inception, our intent was to build community, celebrate the many gifts we receive from Earth, and to inspire participation in caring for our planet. Our goal was to grow this festival in attendance, community bonding, and environmental engagement. Today we take major steps towards those goals in announcing our partnership with the University of South Carolina Upstate campus.

The festival will be held there on Saturday, April 18th!

There is so much positive energy surrounding this partnership. Upstate was eager to embrace our successful festival and marry their academic programs to an important cause and the opportunity to invite the Upstate community onto their campus. Once again we have seeded an important project that will expand beyond our grounds and congregation just as we did with the Pride March and New Day Clubhouse.

This congregation has supported our Earth Day Festival with great enthusiasm and dedication from day one. We’re counting on that to continue as we assist with children’s activities, run our lemonade stand, sponsor a church booth, and provide a wealth of volunteers.

We celebrate our past success and now look forward to new growth and opportunities! Throughout the year we’ll be sharing updates about exciting new plans. Save the April 18th date and look for those bright green volunteer signup sheets in March!

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