Social Action Committee- see Annual Report section for more detail
The Social Action Committee has become more successful in the past few years due to a gradual increase in interest from the congregation, partly with interest being shown by some new members. The gradual increase began in 2004 with the start of the shared offering program, through which the church donates half of our cash collection and designated checks to a different organization each month. This program increases awareness, increases generosity, and also sparks involvement in some of the organizations. Leadership of the Social Action Committee has changed from year to year, but attendance at meetings has increased this year. In 2011, the congregation began designating an all-congregation, 2-year initiative, which was vetted through Social Action but run by the entire church. Projects so far have included Hunger, Immigration Justice, and currently Racial Justice/Prison Reform. The Social Action Committee has some regular recurring projects, such as the CROP Walk and Habitat for Humanity builds that draw in many participants. This year, our church is participating in the first interfaith Habitat build in Champaign County. The Social Action Committee has a very large, active, and vocal listserv and gets regular updates from UUANI (Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois) on social justice activities around the state, in which many of our members participate. The Partner Church Committee, which is under the Social Action umbrella, stays in touch with our two partner churches in Romania and India. The committee members correspond with the churches to stay informed about their needs, and report to the congregation in an annual partner church worship service. The committee raises funds through special Indian and Romanian meals put on at the church. The two partner churches have a standard place as our shared offering for December every year.
Social Action has grown, but we heard a strong sentiment in our cottage meetings and congregational survey that people want to see the efforts continue to grow, and would like to see leadership from our minister in that endeavor. Not to do it all, but to encourage, champion and guide us toward more involvement both at the local level and beyond.