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Financial Appeal for Justice

18 March 2024

Dear Justice Seekers!

As I write this, we are living with concerns about flooding from record breaking rains, thousands of homeless in almost every community, increasing difficulty to access the cost of affordable housing even for those who are working full time, and a lack of tolerance for those suffering from such situations. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to the point of thinking there is nothing we can do.

UUJMCA is here to say that we can do something
and while we can’t do everything,
This is not the time to do nothing!

It is now two years since we have come out of the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, though it still remains as we experience outbursts of COVID, RSV, influenza and even outbreaks of childhood diseases such as measles, diphtheria and pertussis often associated with immunization denial. All this is on top of concern for our climate, our economic challenges for the most vulnerable members of our communities and the injustices we see every day in the daily news for our Queer (LGBTQ+) siblings. Hope may not be clear.

As we enter the first electoral decisions of 2024, we are facing the plight of immigrants fleeing terrible economic, political and climate conditions in their home countries. We are also seeing humanitarian crises grow in Ukraine, Palestine, at our Southern Border and now in Haiti. All of the strife is being compounded by the rise of right-wing religious fundamentalism and the political opportunists who are using the strife of immigration, disease, inadequate housing and a general feeling of despair to fund and promote a dangerous agenda that attacks our most basic rights promising a solution at the detriment of our most basic freedoms. 

With knowledge of the challenges posed to all Californians in the coming elections, at UUJMCA, we are now moving into the second quarter of 2024 with new hope for justice in California filled with compassion for those seeking liberation and equity. 

There is much work to do! This is where the UU Justice Ministry of California finds its mission.

The mission of the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of California is to advance justice in our state by cultivating and connecting leaders and communities, and by empowering the public voice of those who share Unitarian Universalist values and principles.

We are here to organize, to inform, to prioritize and to prepare all of us to look past what would be easier to ignore and move toward building just communities that engage our ministry, inform our sense of just communities, and point us to better days ahead.

As UUJMCA works toward this mission, we face numerous practical challenges. For a number of years, we have relied on funding for much of what we do from the Veatch Foundation for financial support. We have been notified that our recent funding will be the last year that we are receiving these funds. This represents a significant percentage of our budgeted revenue. While we face a difficult financial future, we know that many of our California congregations also face financial challenges.

Given the loss of our single largest funder (Veatch), and the financial changes we must make, we are looking to our most valued client, you, our California UU Congregations and members to fill this financial gap. 

We are asking congregations and individual members to make or increase your financial contribution to our UU justice ministry.. We will ask congregations to make a pledge to UUJMCA for the 2024/25 fiscal year and to do something as simple as sharing your monthly plate in the coming months and encourage members of your congregations to make a small monthly contribution to UUJMCA. My congregation does a plate share and my wife and I each make a $50 recurring pledge. You can do this too at https://uujmca.org/give-monthly/ .

A number of events are being planned and are on the calendar to meet with clusters in the next several months. These will be Zoom conversations and the cluster dates can be found at https://uujmca.org/upcomingevents/category/uujmca/. We also have our annual Pilgrimage to the Border for a home build and more information, to register or make a contribution please visit https://uujmca.org/building-homes-creating-community/.

We look forward to the coming year and look forward to your involvement for justice in 2024 whether it be your financial support, your response to our leadership call or your attendance at one of our events either on Zoom or in person.

With warmest regards and our hope for a more just California,

Tom Loughrey
UU Justice Ministry of California