January Edition

Happy New Year and New Beginnings to all of you! Thank you for your continued support of the Social Justice work that is critical in our beautiful and hurting world. And thank you for looking forward together with us as we move into a new year of immense potential and growth in the Social Justice work that is foundational to our faith. The upcoming months are active and engaging ones at First Unitarian Society!

Social Justice Ministry Team Working Retreat
This is an exciting opportunity for anyone engaged with the Social Justice Ministry Teams at First Unitarian Society and others who are interested in Social Justice work at FUS to join the conversation about where we are currently in our work and where we hope to be in five years. Please reach out to Kristi Sprague or any committee chair, if you have questions about the retreat.

People attending the retreat will be discussing three questions. We would value feedback on these questions from the larger FUS community. The questions will be posted on the Social Justice Board in the Atrium. They are also linked in this Google Sheet, which you are invited to fill out. We will make our way through summarizing thoughts shared in the coming months.


We continue the series of essays written by  members from the Sustainability Team this month as they share part of the "why" behind the sustainability work they choose to volunteer with.

Journey into Climate Justice
Authored by Suzie deBeers


What I thought was simply standing up with the people of a segregated community, introduced me to inequities and particularly environmental racism.  Back in 1998, I joined four other concerned citizens in letter writing, picketing and leafleting in West Chester, Pennsylvania.  We wanted to raise awareness of the dangers of leaking oil tanks at the Davis Oil complex, as well as a lot used for their discarded equipment that was adjacent to a residential home in this neighborhood.  Our actions, a meeting with the Borough Council and letters to the State and Federal Environmental Protection Agencies succeeded in bringing about an inspection of properties, some remediation, and a fine.


Now, forward to 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.  As a member and regional coordinator of the Unitarian Universalist Service Community, a call for volunteers beckoned, so my husband and I went to Gulfport, Mississippi, where we joined other UU’s.  We were shown the destruction along the beaches where  commercial buildings were destroyed, and elegant homes had been swept away with only steps remaining. Time was set aside to learn about the area, its people and inequities.  We were assigned to the Turkey Creek Community, which was established during Reconstruction by emancipated African Americans after the Civil War.  One of our jobs entailed clearing out the interior of a home and placing the debris on the road.  Every evening, we would gather to share our reflections of the day, holding each other's hands. 

Here my reflection put on the UUSC blog:

 14 March 2007

  1. Reflections on a House, by Suzie deBeers 

Suzie deBeers is a participant in the JustWorks Katrina Relief Camp in Biloxi, Miss.

Oh, what came to the surface of my thoughts while working on just one house in the Turkey Creek community of Mississippi. We took this house down to the studs. Layers and layers of history are now in huge piles on the street, waiting to be hauled away. Patches throughout the history of this one family pulled off, up, or down from the walls, floors, or ceiling. 

I can only imagine who these people were and how they made this their home through the wallpaper, flooring, coins, and treasures that are now piled high. The wallpaper makes me think of the beauty that someone wanted to look upon each day. Then there was a piece of board under the carpet, because there was a hole in the floor and a new floor was way too expensive. Maybe the twenty dollar bill under the carpet was for a rainy day.

Yes, I can feel the faith and pride here, along with the struggle to keep their heads above water. Then Katrina came. Most of the family is gone now, except for Mark, who looked in on us and shared a little of this history, this pride, this loss. It is my wish that this house will again be a home to this family. A home where they live with hope, justice, and love.


Team Moses Welcomes Guest Speaker to FUS

We'll have coffee and light snacks in the Landmark. All are welcome to join us!
Sunday, February 19, 2023
Che Stedman, Community Alternative Response Emergency Services (CARES) Team

Ché Stedman has been a member of the Madison Fire Department since 1996. He has served as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Lieutenant and Training Captain. He is currently the Assistant Chief of Medical Affairs and oversees Madison's Community Alternative Response Emergency Services (CARES) Team.  

CARES is a 9-1-1 resource that responds to non-violent behavioral health emergencies. The Team consists of a crisis worker from Journey Mental Health and a paramedic from the Madison Fire Department. The CARES Team has been in service for over a year. Ché will discuss the successes and challenges faced in mobile crisis response. 

They set. They spike. They practice hard.

These talented young women comprise the Starlings Volleyball Team of Madison!

Come Eat With Us!
Saturday, February 18, 2023 @ 6:15 pm

Madison Starlings is a local girls volleyball club focused on the pursuit of excellence regardless of socioeconomic status.
Proceeds will support a pipeline for all girls, regardless of income, to play competitive volleyball.
Suggested donation: $8 adults / $5 youth (under 10)

First Friday Films will continue in February online. The date of the film will be:

Friday, February 3, 2023
We will begin at 6:30 PM with a discussion to follow at 7:45.
Please note: This film is appropriate for families with children in grades 4 and up. 

Set in Oakland, a city with a deep history of social justice movements, WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS documents the Radical Monarchs — an alternative to the Scout movement for girls of color, aged 8-13. Its members earn badges for completing units on social justice including being an LGBTQ ally, the environment, and disability justice.

The group was started by two fierce, queer women of color, Marilyn Hollinquest and Anayvette Martinez, as a way to address and center Anayvette's daughter's experience as a young brown girl. Their work is anchored in the belief that adolescent girls of color need dedicated spaces and that the foundation for this innovative work must also be rooted in fierce inter-dependent sisterhood, self-love, and hope.

FUS MOSES Ministry Team Update:

The MOSES Ministry Team of First Unitarian Society meets Wednesday, February 8, at 4PM.
Topic: Moses Meeting Link Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime Join Zoom Meeting
If you'd like to learn more about what the FUS MOSES Team is doing to hasten humane criminal justice reform, please join us.
For more information about our team, contact Kathy Luker @,

This Team is sponsoring our speaker from Madison's CARES Team on February 19, between Sunday Services. Thank you, Team Moses!

The Racial Justice Ministry Team Update

The FUS Racial Justice Ministry Team meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 6 pm via Zoom:  http://Meeting ID: 811 7852 9448 .To volunteer or for more information, please contact Kristi Sprague at This committee continues to seek a chair and co-chair. You can make a difference. Thank you for considering!



Name Change Alert!
Climate Action Team
 Contact Liz Hachten at, for more information on meeting times.
Array It Forward  solicits donations to put solar panels on the roofs of non-profits and faith institutions. They have an excellent arrangement with Renew Wisconsin. Donations of any amount at any time can be made at, and put Array It Forward in the memo line.

Renew Wisconsin will be holding its 12th Annual Renewable Energy Summit on January 26, 2023. Contact us, if you wish to go, or follow the link below.

Give it up for Erin Hawes and Mary Savage! They have volunteered to serve as the co-chairs for the Reproductive Freedom team. We couldn't be happier to have their skills and passion on board.

The next meeting for this team will be on Tuesday, February 2, 2023, at 5PM. Any and all are welcome to join us.

Contact Minister Kelly Asprooth Jackson
at or Kristi Sprague at, for more information.

Meet us on Zoom!
http:// Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 889 4550 5065 Passcode: 292136

This team continues collecting resources, researching a potential speaker to talk to the congregation between services, and is looking into peaceful vigils to draw attention to the issues we're facing. 


FUS Social Justice Opportunities:

Find other justice opportunities in and beyond the Madison area at:
Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice & Sustainability Calendar



In love and peace,

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