PRCC Social Justice Team
Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and please the widow’s cause,”
Our Social Justice Team includes the following Sub Groups:
Open and Affirming - working towards becoming formally designated as ONA by the UCC
Education/Arts - working with Faith Development committee to help develop non-racist curriculum for both youth and adults. Working with Arts & Décor to make sure we display a variety of people of faith in our building. Communicating our intentions to the local and wider community.
Affordable Housing/Equal Access to Housing - currently trying to work with Action Ridge to make sure an affordable housing component is included in the Park Ridge Community Plan.
Youth Initiative - currently working with District 207 and other high school groups.
Social Justice Team Mission Statement
The mission of the Park Ridge Community Church Social Justice Team is to serve the congregation and the larger community as a resource and catalyst for the work of social justice and equality, creating God’s kingdom on Earth, where “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” This work is rooted in the tradition of the prophets, which taught the importance of “doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God”, and follows the example of Jesus, whose mission is to “bring good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and set the oppressed free.”
We define "social justice" as a process of building individual and community capacity for collaborative action with the purpose of following God’s call to “righteousness and justice.”
We believe each of God’s children, made in the divine image, has the right to flourish, to civil liberties, to equal opportunity, to be treated fairly, and to enjoy a sense of safety and security within our worship community and in the world beyond.
The Team is committed to challenging both the historical roots and the existing framework of oppression and injustice in order to enhance the intellectual, social, and emotional functioning of the individual regardless of: gender identity; ethnicity; race; nationality; age; religious or spiritual beliefs; sexual or affectional orientation; veteran, marital or socioeconomic status; physical and cognitive ability; lifestyle; or political ideology.
In doing so, our foci will likely change and transition as the needs of our faith community and the larger community shift; indeed, one aspect of the ministry of the Social Justice Team is the need to stay attuned to the needs of the most vulnerable in our church, community, and world. As situations in the world arise and the need for the Church’s voice is clear, the Team will coordinate with existing committees in discovering ways to learn more and respond constructively, including educational events, direct actions, collaborative initiatives, and more.
Therefore, we as the Park Ridge Community Church Justice Team will:
• Strive to maintain an environment in which all individuals receive the respect, acceptance, positive regard, and safety conducive to maximum self-growth including such educational events as book studies, movie showings, guest presenters, Bible studies, and other opportunities for congregational response, reflection, and input;
• Acknowledge diverse world views and the implications these have on daily interactions with one another by involvement in such activities as collaborating with other faith-based and community organizations’ efforts and initiatives; and
• Aim to promote fairness, empowerment, and advocacy for each of God’s children.
The team is constituted under the Faith Development Committee. It will coordinate with the Senior Pastor, the Associate Pastor, other staff, congregational leadership, and other committees and groups, to develop actions and processes necessary to achieve these goals. Membership on the team is entirely voluntary, and all are welcome.