Social justice is the common cord that binds our varied religious beliefs. Unitarian Universalism is a faith of deeds, not creeds; we believe social justice work is a vital aspect of our Fellowship. The UU Seven Principles define and direct our actions to respect and protect: diversity, equality, the environment, and the democratic process; always with a focus on the greater good. As a small fellowship, we often seek opportunities to partner with other organizations, supporting our inclusive philosophy. Members and friends of Prairie Lakes initiate and manage the programs, projects and events, allowing individuals to bring his or her personal mission to our Fellowship.
Examples of recent social justice programs/projects/events:
- documentary screening: Dakota 38
- documentary screening: Doctrine of Discovery, Unmasking
- Standing with Standing Rock Community Event: provide information to the public concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline
- Ripon Area Refugee Association: volunteered and donated items for Congolese family moving to Oshkosh
- holiday financial contributions to a family in need
- food drives
The 1st Principle of Unitarian Universalism promotes “The inherent worth and dignity of every person”; which compels our commitment to welcoming people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Prairie Lakes is recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association as a Welcoming Congregation, and we continue our commitment to inclusivity with service topics, presentations, and current information involving equality protections. The spiritual practice of welcoming everyone is very important to our faith community.
As a Welcoming Congregation, we:
- honor the lives of all people and equally affirm displays of caring and affection without regard to sexual orientation;
- celebrate diversity by using inclusive language and content in worship;
- incorporate an understanding of the experience lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (+) persons in programming, including religious education;
- affirm and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (+) issues and history;
- affirm marriage equality and conduct same-sex weddings;
- advocate and promote justice, freedom, and equality.
Our 7th Principle states “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” We commit to caring for our environment to sustain life for generations to come. The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Green Sanctuary Program provides a process for congregations to examine their environmental impact and then move toward sustainable practices. Prairie Lakes began the process and is committed to completing the program as a formal recognition of our service and dedication to the Earth.
As we work toward becoming a Green Sanctuary, we will focus our efforts in:
- environmental justice, acknowledging that marginalized individuals and communities are often impacted more severely by environmental crisis;
- worship and celebration, to connect our community as we work together for a clean and sustainable world;
- religious education, with age appropriate environmental information impacting thoughts, attitudes, and practices;
- sustainable living, requiring us to treat the world more gently by using fewer resources and being mindful of the choices we make.