MUUSJA equips individuals and congregations:
We bring people together, hone skills and offer spiritual grounding.
WHAT WE DO
Volunteer Congregational Liaisons are MUUSJA’s most important asset. MUUSJA serves to bring them together, to share, grow, and amplify their talents, and ground their work in UU principles.
We build relationships with clergy and lay leaders at each congregation in order to build bridges among congregations. MUUSJA’s Congregational Liaisons often are volunteer leaders of congregational social justice teams or Boards. They link the strengths and needs of their congregations together with MUUSJA’s resources for communicating, organizing, planning, training, and developing programs. MUUSJA connects each liaison with their counterparts from other UU congregations, other faith communities, key secular partners, and regional and national UUA programs.
At larger congregations, several liaisons may represent groups that focus on particular interests and initiatives, such as climate justice, immigration reform, racial equity, LGBTQA+ rights, etc. Their work with MUUSJA helps to remind their congregations that of the interconnectedness of all these issues.
Often, MUUSJA staff act as connectors — ladders who provide the structure and direction for congregational volunteers to grow and learn in their justice work; and bridges who identify, introduce, and facilitate new relationships with community partners and leaders on justice issues.
Our goal is to facilitate the creation of networks that are accountable and sustainable for the long haul, among UU’s within their congregations; across congregations; among multi-faith and secular partners; with regional and national UU resources.
Our partnerships with groups such as INITC allows MUUSJA to convene people from different cultures and backgrounds for the transformative experience of being humans together.
With a focus on our goal of building clergy and volunteers’ capacity to organize effectively for change, and collaborate constructively with social justice partners, MUUSJA staff and consultants offer a variety of thematic, one-time workshops for congregations, social justice teams, or regional clusters of congregations. Fee arrangements for workshops and Sunday services are flexible, with contracts based on time, participants, event planning demands, and number of presenters or facilitators, and adjusted for the size and resources of the hosting congregation.
Current topics include, but are not limited to:
- Issue Organizing 101 — Models, strategies, and tactics
- Beloved Conversations (Racial Justice 101)
- Organizing Across Generations
- “Day on the Hill” – Faith-based legislative advocacy
- #UUtheVote for 2020 Elections and Beyond
- Relationship building; “One to Ones” and Deep Listening
- Recruiting, engaging, and developing social justice volunteers
- Sanctuary, Accompaniment and Resistance
- Event planning for social justice organizers
- How to use social media for social justice organizing
- Full inclusion and participation of people with disabilities
Online meetings — convening calls — are open to everyone who wants to build relationships across congregations and interest areas, connect into pressing social justice issues, and help each other with leadership questions.
The Climate Justice convening calls are a special series — MUUSJA convenes the MN UU Climate Justice Circle in collaboration with UU Ministry for Earth and Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light.
Other 2020 convening calls focus on strategies for organizing while coping with COVID-19; efforts for fair redistricting and voter engagement via the nationwide #UUtheVOTE program; ongoing work for racial justice in partnership with immigrant, refugee, and BIPOC communities; LGBTQA+ and gender justice (including reproductive rights and work towards a ban on conversion therapy); and elder justice issues (including end of life options).
Visit our calendar for upcoming calls and events. Find details and recordings from previous calls here.
MUUSJA is coordinating Minnesota UU efforts to #UUtheVOTE in conjunction with the national UUA program for 2020 and beyond.
MUUSJA organizes UU’s to participate in the Twin Cities PRIDE Fest Booth and Parade, as well as other regional PRIDE festivals over the summer, as an affirming celebration of LGBTQA+ lives and progress. The congregational liaisons for PRIDE assist to recruit and register volunteers to march in the parade and represent Unitarianism and regional UU congregations by sharing info and answering questions at the PRIDE fest booths. Youth and adults are encouraged to participate in some of the happiest festivities of the year!
In 2020, MUUSJA is coordinating plans for a statewide racial justice summit, examining how and what UU’s have been learning about racial justice over the past 5 years; and what’s most needed for the next 5 years. This will be a collaborative project engaging UU congregations, faith-based and secular partner organizations, and consultants.
MUUSJA convenes UU’s across the state to set goals, plan, and work towards climate justice, in collaboration with UU Ministry for Earth and Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, and other environmental groups.