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Working for social justice is an important part of the Unitarian Universalist faith.  We believe in “making heaven on earth” by living our values of justice, equity and compassion to the best of our ability.


Social Justice

Housing Emergency Loan Program: We are committed to fundraising for the Housing Emergency Loan Program or HELP, which was begun in 1999 in part through efforts of this congregation. HELP provides interest free loans to families who, because of temporary financial setbacks, risk being evicted and becoming homeless. Through a special collection at last June's annual picnic, a contra dance in September, donations at the Christmas Eve service and individual contributions, members of this congregation have so far raised about $6,500 to replenish the HELP loan fund. Donations are always welcome, through cheques made out to the Housing Help Centre, with Housing Emergency Loan Program written in the memo field.

Green sanctuary: The committee encourages education and activities to reduce our impact on the Earth's carrying capacity, in keeping with the church's designation as a Green Sanctuary. We have encouraged people to sign up to receive the monthly congregational newsletter by email, saving paper and trees, and almost 150 have. We organized a showing of the film End of Suburbia and a visit to an organic farm last spring. On Feb. 16, we'll hold a discussion on climate change (see above) and have agreed to join the Ten Trees Challenge, an initiative of the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth which oversees the Green Sanctuary program. We agree to plant and care for 10 trees this year and encourage individuals or groups to do the same. This project began at the Community UU Church (CUUC) in San Antonio, which set itself a goal in 2006 to get 100 local groups to plant and adopt 10 trees each. At least 60 joined.

Land's Inlet Corridor Nature Restoration Project: The committee is supporting a project of the Hamilton Naturalists' Club to work with the North End Neighbourhood Association to naturalize a piece of city-owned land north of Simcoe Street in their neighbourhood. Volunteers from the church, the club and people from the area will help develop a plan for planting native trees and grasses on the property and to carry out the planting. Cleanup days are likely in April and planting events are likely in May and we'll encourage volunteers from the church to participate.

Fair trade.
On the third Sunday of each month, after the church service, members of our fair trade task force sell fair trade coffee, cocoa, hot chocolate and other products that ensure a fair price and other benefits to the people who grow these crops. Read our
brochure on why fair trade is needed. Contact person is Pat Dickinson.

Welcoming Congregation
In 1998, we unanimously voted to become a congregation that welcomes and supports gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.

Letter to The Hamilton Spectator by Rev. Allison Barrett, re Same Sex Marriage

Green Sanctuary
In 2003, a two-year effort resulted in our officially being recognized as a green sanctuary.

An Incomplete History of Social Action at the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton (to the end of 2004) by Bill Johnston (Adobe Acrobat pdf format)


Member Canadian Unitarian Council
The First Unitarian Church of Hamilton
170 Dundurn Street South
Hamilton ON  L8P 4K3
Phone: 905-527-8441  Fax: 905-527-6420

General Email: [email protected]
© 2009 First Unitarian Church of Hamilton Webweaver last updated June 25, 2015