Social & Environmental Justice Committee
We, the BUF Social & Environmental Justice Committee (SEJC), affirm and promote peace, justice and equality through action, education and raising awareness within our community and the wider world. We are a combined Social Justice and Green Sanctuary committee.  For general announcements, visit our SEJC Blog.

Much of our work is performed by theme-based Ministry Action teams.  As a whole we meet three times a year, with the dates set a year in advance.  Our next meetings of the committee as a whole are scheduled for Sunday September 29, 2019 February 2, 2020 and April 5, 2020, - starting at noon with a potluck lunch at 11:45 am.  For requests of the SEJC between meetings (co-sponsorships, funds, volunteers, etc.), please complete our SEJC Request Form which will be reviewed by our executive team.

We sponsor special monthly collections to benefit non-profit organizations that share our values.  The Committee-as-a-whole votes on the recipient organizations at our spring meeting.  A ministry action team manages the collections.  For more on the current recipients or to apply for next year, go to our Giving Beyond BUF page.

In addition we support the local Interfaith Coalition and the national Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). Each of these affiliations is detailed below.

Our SEJC Executive Team:
Linda Fels - Chair
Ann Stevenson - Vice Chair
Kara Black - Secretary
Todd Jones - Treasurer
Judy Kasper -  Action Team Coordinator
Michael Betz - Communications Coordinator
Beth Brownfield - Nominating Chair
SEJC Documents

To be added to the SEJC email discussion group (listserv), send an email message to SEJC Listserv. In the body of the message include a short description of your involvement with BUF, your interest in the SEJC, and your name.

For information about regional UU justice events and projects, check out JUUstice Washington.

Fair Trade Project Team

The mission of the Fair Trade Team is twofold: to offer fair trade products for sale to Sunday service attendees and to raise monies for social justice and environmental justice work.  You can find us in the Social Hall during Sunday coffee hour, selling Fair Trade coffee and chocolates.
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) has partnered with Equal Exchange, a company that buys directly from farmers, following the standards and principles of Fair Trade. This ensures that low-income farmers earn a fair, living wage. All products are organic and grown using sustainable methods.
The prices are fair, the products are really good, and when you buy these products at our table, you are supporting both the farmers and the work of the SEJC. To volunteer, contact Susan Thurn.

SEJC Monthly Collections Team

One Sunday a month, BUF members are invited to give to an SEJC collection for a non-profit organization serving in one of the following areas: women and children, environment, poverty/homelessness, peace and human rights, social and economic justice, and health. A ministry action team manages the collections and associated adult forums. The list of this church year's recipients is posted here under GIVE.  Contact Betty Scott to volunteer.


Interfaith Coalition

Interfaith Coalition of Whatcom County is 44 diverse congregations (including BUF) focused together on housing for homeless families. We manage nine homes for emergency and transitional housing. The Opportunity Council provides weekly case management.

Interfaith Severe Weather Shelters offer warmth, sleep and food to people who live outside except when the harshest weather comes. We offer training for volunteers to staff the shelters.

Our annual Coat Drive has been keeping families warm for years. Every fall, congregations and community members collect and distribute over 3,000 coats through Whatcom County.

For 30 years, Interfaith Coalition has been a testament of how Whatcom County comes together to help some of the most vulnerable of our community. BUF has been a member of Interfaith from the beginning. Our congregation participates in the fall coat drive, several members volunteer at the Severe Weather Shelters and we donate our entire Christmas Eve collection to the Coalition.  Our members also donate to Interfaith's most important fundraiser of the year - the annual spring auction.

 Ann Stevenson is our congregational representative to Interfaith. If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about the Interfaith Coalition please contact Ann.  

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a nonsectarian organization that advances human rights and social justice in the United States and around the world. We envision a world free from oppression and injustice, where all can realize their full human rights.

Through a combination of advocacy, education, and partnerships with grassroots organizations, UUSC promotes economic rights, advances environmental justice, defends civil liberties, and preserves the rights of people in times of humanitarian crisis.

UUSC's status as a membership organization provides us the autonomy to advocate for justice-oriented public policies across the political spectrum — our support from member contributions makes up approximately 60 percent of our annual budget. By neither seeking nor accepting government funds, UUSC maintains a high level of independence. In addition to supporting UUSC financially, our members and supporters also participate directly in UUSC's efforts to challenge oppressive policies.

Continue to Ministry Action Teams >>
Header is a slice of the Standing on the Side of Love poster compiled by BUF members Beth Sobel, Heidi Alford, Michelle Magee and Alicia Alford.