The Social Concerns Committee's purpose is to research, educate, and advocate on issues of social concern in the community, state, nation, and world. Social Concerns meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM. For any questions about the committee or the content of this page, please send us an email.
Ellie Schroeder co-chair
Carole Swinehart co-chair
Sheree Clark Lovell
Note: Anyone is invited to attend meetings, whether regularly, occasionally, or for certain projects. Meetings are at 7:00 PM on the fourth Tuesday of the month in the parlor. Anyone is welcome.
Social Concerns Committee Ongoing Projects
We support the Shelterhouse Resale Store by sorting donated clothing and household items each month.The proceeds of this store directly fund services of the local Shelterhouse, which provides shelter, legal advocacy, and counseling for victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. We invite adults and youth 10 years and older to volunteer for this effort.
Through our Interfaith Initiatives we reach out to our community — building friendships through Interfaith Friends potlucks and projects; collecting needed items for anticipated Syrian refugees; sponsoring educational opportunities in coordination with the Islamic Center of Midland; and actively looking for opportunities to interact with and advocate for people of different faiths.
UCC Midland is part of the Interfaith Friends group which has been meeting for a little over a year. This organization includes members from various faith communities around Midland, including members from the Islamic Center, the Jewish faith, the Bahai tradition, Blessed Sacrament Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and Holy Family Episcopal Church, among others. The major project of this group to date is establishing the Foster Care Closet where children going into foster care can get essential clothing, bedding, and other items when they are removed from their homes.
Funds from sale of donated books in Fellowship Hall raise money for Social Concerns initiatives.
Food For Thought
A recent UCC conversation on race included these suggestions for being an ally in anti-racism work (from Rev. Traci Blackmon, Ferguson, Missouri):
Learn before you Leap. It is impossible to act in solidarity with those we are not willing to hear. Do not assume you understand another's pain. The manifestations of oppression differ and each must be acknowledged in its own right.
Do your own work for your own sake. Understand the cost of white privilege, the toll of racism, and why dismantling racism is necessary for your own liberation.
Be a servant, not a Savior. Liberation must be led by those being oppressed. Their pain and their power must be at the center of the work.
In anti-racism work, "ally" is a verb, not a noun. It is only relevant when describing one's current act(s) of solidarity. Those you stand with determine whether or not you are an ally.
Commit to doing white people's work, establishing solidarity with other white folk who are committed. Establish 'whiteness accountability cohorts'.
Continue to show up. Even when your presence is misunderstood. Define your lane and commit to riding in it. Don't over promise and try not to under-deliver.
Use your privilege to make space for others to tell their own story: not you telling it.
Do not appropriate the pain of others. Defer to those being targeted.
Read. Watch. Listen.
Give yourself space for Grace.