Community Outreach Committee (COC)
The Community Outreach Committee is the umbrella organization for
UUCJ’s social action/community outreach efforts in the following areas:
Community Outreach Events
Peace and Social Justice
- Wage Peace: a Jacksonville based volunteer organization dedicated to building a community of peace and non-violence, at wagepeace.net.
- Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC): a nonsectarian organization advancing human rights and social justice in the United States and around the world, at uusc.org.
- Interfaith Council: 45 years of providing shelter, food, direct services, advocacy and information to people in need, at ifcweb.org.
- ICARE: a person-to-person donation system allowing individuals to send relief directly to the survivors of natural disasters, at icare.ieor.berkeley.edu.
Protecting the Environment
- Rogero Road Cleanup: UUCJ involvement in the "adopt a road" program.
Community Health, Nutrition, Housing and Safety
- Sulzbacher Meals: Every day, Sulzbacher Center is home to more than 330 homeless members of our community, many of whom are children, at sulzbachercenter.org.
- Arlington Food Bank/Arlington Community Services: addressing hunger and homelessness in the Arlington area
Financial support for worthy non-profits
- We conduct monthly “Special Collections” for groups performing similar community services.
Goals: COC’s Charter states that its committee should focus on three particular issues: peace and social justice, protecting the environment, and improving health, nutrition, housing, and safety. There are currently 10 working groups supporting these focuses under COC. Each group meets and works independently, but the chairs and interested members of the groups meet quarterly to share ideas and network at the COC meetings. COC provides support, guidance, and financial assistance to the working groups when needed, and represents them at UUCJ Board meetings.
History: Unitarian Universalists have always been at the cutting edge of social justice issues, and the Jacksonville Unitarian Universalist church is part of that tradition. We have been active in the movements for civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, farm worker rights — all of the human rights issues of our time.
In the 1980s, a Social Action Committee was established to bring more specific attention to issues of peace and justice and to continue the church's history of social justice activities. The committee invited a variety of speakers on topics of interest and concern — violence in Central America, nuclear proliferation, Israeli-Palestinian disputes, environmental hazards — as part of our mission to educate our congregation on important issues.
- We joined the Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice, participating in several Walks for Peace by feeding over 200 walkers and walking with them.
- A Walk for the Earth for environmental justice, numerous demonstrations at Cape Canaveral against weapons testing and at the Trident Naval Base against nuclear submarine expansion.
- We marched with the Martin Luther King parade and the Gay Pride parade.
- One of our proudest accomplishments, certification as an official "Welcoming Congregation," involving months of study and self evaluation associated with how to reach out to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-sexual adults, and to make them feel welcome in our church