Our First U mission calls us to fight injustice and transform the world through loving action and we are meeting this intention head on. Our three official Social Justice Task Forces are the way we, as a congregation, are focusing on this mission. All are outward focused and involve members of the community as we expand our impact outside our walls.
The Environmental Justice Task Force (EJTF) has as its mission to move the planet to a sustainable future. During the past year, with the leadership of this task force, we have made strides in two main areas. After much research and support of the congregation, we have invested in rooftop solar panels, completing the project on December 30th. You can see photos on our website here. We celebrated the end of the process that began in 2017 with a Winter Solstice Celebration and Blessing in our “outdoor sanctuary”- the open area between Rt. 202 and the church.
The Native Plant Project, under the leadership of Nancy Flanagan, has the goals to make our 7th Principle more visible, to preserve the quality of our three acres and do good for the environment, and to affirm our Green Sanctuary status. This project has already added vibrancy to the outdoor sanctuary and will increase the green screen and decrease noise over time. The project is ongoing with the plan to add to the edges of the property while preserving the center lawn for future gatherings and potential expansions. You can see photos from our 2021 Ingathering which included planting of our new native plants, here.
Our second task force is Independent Living for Young Adults (ILYA) which supports young people aging out of foster care in building successful independent lives. This project was featured in our Sunday worship service on February 13, including interviews of some of our youth by Rev. Larry Peers. For 17 years, ILYA has assisted young adults with year-round projects such as New Apartment Kits, Student Care Packages, Graduation Gifts, and a Loan Program. A Baby Supplies Project provides young moms with essential items for their newborns. ILYA’s activities are coordinated through the State’s Independent Living Coordinators. During the past year, ILYA expanded to support youth in Kent County, assisted by our partner congregation, UU of Central Delaware in Dover.
Our third task force is the Human Rights Task Force (HRTF), advancing the cause of human rights in harmony with the principles of Unitarian Universalism. Most recently, the HRTF has sponsored the Anti-Racism Book Group Series focused on The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee. The HRTF has also been responsible for multiple “Get Out the Vote” postcard campaigns over the past two years, focused on increasing voter turnout in elections. Over 70 First Unitarian members participated. This was in conjunction with the Unitarian Universalist Delaware Advocacy Network (UUDAN) and other UU congregations in Delaware. Postcards were sent to legal voters in Florida, South Carolina, Texas, and Georgia for the 2020 election.
Our intentions for fighting injustice and transforming the world through loving action are strong and making a difference. What are your intentions regarding this aspect of our mission and how can you help support it? Here’s what two of our church members have said about this:
“Now more than ever, supporting progressive forces is critical! With First U we not only benefit by being part of a powerful faith tradition, but we also join together to make our entire community a better place to live.” – Mike McCabe
“I support First UU to ensure that there is a progressive voice in Wilmington, DE.” – Travis Laster
YOUR GIFT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. Pledged with intention, given with intention, it carries with it energy and possibility, now and in the future. Please pledge and give as generously as you can to this year’s stewardship campaign.
So far, we have raised we have raised $265,240 – just over 50% of our goal of $490,000 to support our church next church year, 2022-2023. We have heard from just 70 families so far out of our expected number of pledges, 200.
If you have not yet pledged, please visit our web page, First UU Wilmington – “Giving with Intention” – Annual Campaign for Stewardship. There you will find information on how to pledge, along with more information about pledging, including the UUA’s Giving Guide and automated giving. If you are ready to pledge online, please click here.