First Wednesdays, Every Other Month
Our JustACT Team plans and conducts Columbine UU Church’s Social Action. You can attend our JustACT monthly meetings at the church on the first Wednesday of every other month, 7:00 pm.
- We encourage Columbine members and friends to learn about and become personally involved in social justice outreach activities.
- We serve as a repository for information about social justice programs outside of Columbine.
- We research areas within the broad theme of healing injustice that might be of interest to our congregation.
- We share our research with members and friends and listen to their responses.
- We coordinate the scheduling of charitable appeals to the congregation.
- We provide Helpful Hints for Starting a Columbine Social Action Project, a compilation of suggested elements to consider when starting a new project.
- We nurture project participants through mentoring, training, and spiritual reflection.
JustACT activities change from time to time in response to changing needs and priorities. However, the Welcoming Congregation activity is a permanent fixture, the commitment to which is included in the church bylaws.
As a congregation we support Black Lives Matter to help building more loving and united Black communities while eliminating anti-Black violence and racism. We have offered the program, “Building the World We Dream About” which seeks to interrupt the workings of racism and transform how people from different racial/ethnic groups understand and relate to one another. This was offered to theour congregation and the greater community and ignited energy within our congregation to continue to work toward racial justice and creating a welcoming community here at Columbine for all. As a sub-team of our JustACT team, we have regular news about racial justice and ways to get involved. Watch the our internal communications for opportunities!
We believe all people deserve justice irregardless of their immigration status. Columbine Unitarian Universalist Church joined the Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition (MDSC), which was launched on September 10, 2014. It is a multi-faith coalition of congregations in the metro Denver area, walking with immigrants, seeking justice, and providing sanctuary for the body and spirit. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) coordinates the MDSC and Columbine is one of seven Colorado faith communities who have joined together in support.
As an act of public witness, the The New Sanctuary Movement enables congregations to publicly provide hospitality and protection to a limited number of immigrant families whose legal cases clearly reveal the contradictions and moral injustice of our current immigration system while working to support legislation that would change their situation. This is one organization we advocate for immigration justice. Watch for events to attend in our eblast.
The MDSC meets at 6 pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at the American Friends Service Committee office, 901 W 14th Ave #7, Denver, 80204.
Follow the MDSC on Facebook “Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition” www.metrodenversanctuary.org. Sanctuary is more than a building!
Columbine UU Church belongs to Colorado Faith Communities to End Gun Violence (CFCU)
CFCU is an interfaith coalition of twenty-three congregations working to decrease gun deaths in Colorado through advocacy, increase gun safety, action and education. “In Dr. King’s words, we need to feel the ‘fierce urgency of now.’
Because people are dying. and the constant excuses for inaction no longer suffice.”
Gun violence and gun safety issues have been a concern of our church since the Columbine High School shootings that occurred so close to us and deeply affected our community and congregation. There are twenty-three participating congregations, united with the purpose of decreasing gun deaths in Colorado through advocacy, action and education. CFCU keeps current on important issues and encourages its members to take action by calling, writing or emailing our Colorado legislators. Tell them you are a UU and these are your values. Beside keeping us current on legislation, CFCU presents speakers, workshops and other educational opportunities to learn about preventing gun violence.
Integrated Family Community Services
Columbine UU Church partners with Integrated Family Community Services (IFCS), is a local non-profit agency serving low-income families by assisting with food, clothing, information and referral in addition to the programs listed below.
READY, SET, SCHOOL! — This is a July collection to provide a child with a new outfit, backpack, school supplies and a gift certificate for a pair of shoes. This makes all the difference in a child’s life, and the parent’s life too. Because of our generous congregation, FIFTEEN children will start school this fall feeling good about themselves. SPONSOR A CHILD AND CHANGE A LIFE!
THE FOOD BANK AT IFSC – This is an ongoing food collection at Columbine. There is a baskets in the foyer for non-perishable donations that are delivered to IFCS each week. It is a huge part of the help that Inter-Faith gives to those who need extra help feeding their families. There is always a need for staples like beans, macaroni and cheese, canned meat, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, and canned fruit and vegetables. Any nutritious, non-perishable food is welcome.
TURKEY BUCKS — Thanksgiving is a time when we are thankful for our many blessings, but also a time to think about the people who have few blessings in their lives. Last year IFCS distributed over 650 food baskets to their clients, including many home-bound elderly. Baskets include food and “Turkey Bucks”, a King Sooper’s gift card (Columbine keeps the cards in an envelope to deliver, along with the food, to IFCS) good for a turkey. With our help IFCS brings their mission of Neighbors Helping Neighbors to life for families and seniors.
CHRISTMAS ADOPT-A-FAMILY — Volunteers sign up to sponsor a family so the family can receive holiday gifts, food and gift cards and experience the joy of the season. IFCS Christmas Adopt-A-Family, makes the holidays truly joyous for many parents, kids and seniors.
MOTHER’S DAY BASKETS—This is a collection to fill baskets for single moms with kids. Monetary donations are also accepted to the IFCS Mother’s Day Fund. These donations will be turned into gift cards to include with the baskets
Adopt-a-Highway Our JustACT team organizes monthly service projects which are advertised in our monthly newsletters and weekly eblasts. Columbine UU Church has adopted a section of highway along south Wadsworth Blvd., near Southwest Plaza Mall. An Adopt-A-Highway sponsorship sign is by our section of Wadsworth Blvd. We are making sure we keep it there by volunteering monthly to pick up litter along this 2-mile stretch of road.
The Action Center The Action Center provides an immediate response to basic human needs and promotes pathways to self-sufficiency for Jefferson County residents and the homeless. Columbine helps sort food and clothing at the action center’s warehouse or main building. These are great volunteer opportunities for volunteers of all ages.
Project Angel Heart
Columbine UU Church has been involved with Project Angel Heart (PAH) by ‘adopting’ a delivery route that we service every Saturday afternoon. Project Angel Heart is an organization that provides nutritious meals to persons with AIDs, cancer, and other life threatening illnesses. The meals PAH brings to clients’ homes are customized so that each client gets the diet they desperately need, given the illness that they have, but often would not have the energy or resources to prepare on their own. Since we have about 5 volunteers, any one person only needs to do the route about once a month. The route we go on has approximately 6-10 stops and takes about one and a half to two hours. This has also become a great way for our kids and youth to become involved in a Just ACT project.
We are always looking for volunteers to help us with our Columbine delivery route. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Project Angel Heart (303-830-0202) to sign up for a required volunteer orientation at the PAH Headquarters at 4950 Washington Street, Denver.
Donate The Plate
On the third Sunday of each month, Columbine UU Church “donates the plate” with a non-profit beneficiary. Information about this agency is available in E-blasts and in the Order of Service. If you are unable to attend the service and would like to contribute, mail or deliver your cash or check to the church. If writing a check make it to Columbine UU Church with the notation, “DTP” in the memo line.” Pledge payments will not be shared. Thanks for your generosity!
The Students Need Us!
The Columbine UU Church Tutoring program continues to grow in number and effectiveness. Volunteer tutors swing into action in the latter part of August at Dutch Creek Elementary and Fort Logan Northgate Elementary. Tutors support teachers in the classrooms each week, helping with reading and writing skill development, arithmetic, and other projects desired by the teachers. Some of our volunteers choose work outside the classroom assisting the school librarian. The Tutoring program does not require that volunteers have a teaching background. Additional volunteers are needed and always welcome. Here are some thoughts from one of our volunteers:
“I am one of the tutors in the Columbine Tutoring Program, working with the students at Dutch Creek Elementary School. This past school year I worked primarily with one teacher and her 4th grade students, tutoring a group of 3 – 8 students once a week. The students were a delight to work with and were enthusiastic about their reading. In the process of tutoring them I learned about the migratory paths of birds, the Southwest Indians and even a bit about dinosaurs. In addition to the reading, I was able to help with computer projects and several reports, including a persuasive letter to the President of the United States to convince him that turkeys should be saved and not eaten on Thanksgiving Day. The children were always excited about seeing me arrive, waving and smiling the moment they saw me each week. I can’t think of a better way to volunteer my time than working with the children that will be in our future world.”
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), is a membership organization that is a voice for human rights and social justice. By neither seeking nor accepting government funds, UUSC maintains a high level of independence. UUSC receives approximately 60% of its annual budget from member contributions. As an organization with an active membership base, UUSC can advocate vigorously for economic justice, environmental justice, and rights at risk. Here at Columbine we support the good work of UUSC, especially their Guest at Your Table Program. Every year our children and you raise funds for this program and enjoy learning about the individual stories of human rights leaders from around the world.
What are the differences between UUSC and the UUA?
UUSC is an independent, nonsectarian, nonprofit agency. The UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) is a religious organization for Unitarian Universalist congregations. UUSC is an affiliate of the UUA, but does not receive funding from it. More than 90% of UUSC members are also members of UU congregations. Being a member of Columbine UU Church and/or contributing to the congregation does not make you a members of, or donor to, UUSC.
Membership: Become a member of UUSC. Your contribution will support important work for justice in the United States and around the world. As a member, you will join a community of more than 32,000 UUSC supporters who share your ideals. You will also stay up-to-date on human rights issues through regular mailings, action alerts, and a subscription to our newsletter, Rights Now.
We welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people to our community. The rainbow sticker worn by many members and friends on their nametags is a symbol of our commitment to diversity.
We Stand Together
According to the UUA, What does it mean to be a Welcoming Congregation?
A Congregation that publicly and successfully welcomes bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people has the following qualities:
- Includes and addresses the needs of LGBT persons at every level of congregational life — in worship, in programs, in social occasions, and in rites of passage — welcoming not only their presence, but the gifts and particularities of their lives as well.
- Includes an affirmation and nondiscrimination clause in its by-laws and other official documents affecting all dimensions of congregational life, including membership, hiring practices, and the calling of religious professionals.
- Celebrates the lives of all people and welcomes same-sex couples, recognizing their committed relationships, and equally affirms displays of caring and affections without regard to sexual orientation.
- Seeks to nurture ongoing dialogue between bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and heterosexual persons to create deeper trust and sharing. Affirms and celebrates GLBT issues and history during the church year.
- Attends to legislative developments and works to promote justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society.This is only a partial list of the important characteristics of a successful Welcoming Congregation.
Learn about other aspects of Welcoming Congregations at the UUA website devoted to this topic.