Our mission statement:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead

Action for Social Justice at First Parish Church United believes that justice is at the core of our faith and that we are called to make a positive difference in our wider communities. We work to serve, to raise awareness, and to support and partner with people who face injustice.

In furtherance of this belief, ASJ seeks to:

  • Engage our Church community in discussions about social justice focus areas
  • Provide opportunities for interested members of the Congregation to engage in social justice ministries
  • Collaborate with the UCC, UUA and local churches to move this mission forward
  • Strengthen existing relationships and form new partnerships with organizations in our area that share our goals
  • Communicate with the Congregation about local events involving social justice issues

Because: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” — Micah 6:8

Our focus areas for 2018/2019

We have selected the following focus areas for this year:

  • Immigration reform
  • Racial justice
  • Reducing Gun Violence
  • LGBTQ Rights
  • Get Out the Vote

Previous Events

What Does Freedom For All Really Mean?

Thanks to Alexandra Chandler for joining us to lead a very special service! At First Parish Church United, our respect for the worth and dignity of all is one of our guiding principles. On Sunday, October 21 we affirmed our support for our LGBTQ community in a special service with guest speaker Alexandra Chandler. Alexandra knows something about courage. In 2006, as a transgender woman, she was one of the first in the U.S. intelligence community to transition on the job. She served for 12 years in Naval Intelligence preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction from countries like North Korea and Iran and targeting arms smuggling to war zones and terrorist groups. In 2018, she became Massachusetts’ first openly transgender candidate for US Congress here in the third district. She currently lives in Haverhill with her wife and two children. She is a strong advocate for freedom for all and Yes on Ballot question 3.

The service was followed with a discussion at coffee hour with Alexandra.

Community Forum on Immigration

Immigration Forum Attracts Over 150 to FPCU
The sanctuary was full on Wednesday night, February 28, as over 150 people from Westford and nearby towns joined together to explore the topic of immigration. Action for Social Justice sponsored the forum with the League of Women Voters and Indivisible Westford.  Former town moderator, Ellen Harde, led the forum and five representatives from local immigration support and advocacy organizations participated. Attendees and panelists joined together in the church lobby after the forum to continue the discussion and enjoy refreshments. The discussion was very positive with many people thanking First Parish for hosting this event and suggesting topics for future forums. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this event a success!

Candlelight Vigil: Wednesday, December 6 in Westford Common

First Parish Church partnered with Westford Coalition for Non-Violence, Indivisible Westford, Live for Liv, the Westford League of Women Voters and  Out of the Darkness Overnight to sponsor a candlelight vigil on Westford Common for victims of gun violence. The vigil was in remembrance of the five year mark of the Sandy Hook Elementary school tragedy,as well as the 500,000 American victims and survivors of gun violence since December 2012.

UU Mass Action Workshop

Our Events

Jan 20

Define American?

January 20, 2019 @ 10:30 am - 1:30 pm

Local Events

Lowell Votes

Saturday Oct 13 11 AM – 3 PM
North Common Park
413 Fletcher Street, Lowell, Massachusetts
Lowell Votes will be at the Harvest Festival on Saturday registering voters and handing out voter guides. Sounds like a fun event and great opportunity to Get Out The Vote. Message Beth Perkins if you want to join me on Saturday in Lowell.
More Info

Resources

Our Partners

UU Mass Action
UCC Advocate for Justice
MIRA: Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

News

Immigration Forum on Westford CAT

Gun Violence

On October 8. 2017, we asked people at Worship Service to let us know “What do you think we should do to reduce gun violence in the United States?”. Here are the responses.

On Sunday, November 19, Laura Wagner from UU Mass Action spoke at our worship service and conducted a workshop to explore how we can organize our congregation to be a powerful force for social justice in our community. Since 2006 UU Mass Action has been organizing and mobilizing the 20,000 Unitarian Universalist an 142 congregations around social justice issues in Massachusetts.

Refugee Dinner: Sunday October 29 at FPCU

FPCU hosted 11 members of two Afghan immigrant families for dinner and camaraderie. About 25 of our Church folks set up and decorated the hall, cooked some really wonderful food and then waited in slightly anxious anticipation for the families to arrive. We all wondered how we would be able to communicate with these guests, many of whom spoke little or no English and all of whom had lived lives in a far-away place, so different from our own. There was no need for concern! Those with better English skills translated for the others; and it turns out everyone can talk about and make themselves understood when it comes to family, culture and food! In a day and age when we are constantly bombarded with angst producing news, this night of cooperation, friendship and unexpected rapport was truly a bright spot. We will be doing it again, hope you can join us next time!