Tuesday, February 27, 2018

In preparing the annual SEJC (Social & Environmental Justice Committee) report to the BUF Board of Trustees, I realized the rest of the congregation may not be aware of our activities.

In the spirit of transparency, I plan to post monthly updates from our committee as a whole and from our several ministry action teams.

Today, I am providing the annual summary I will be presenting to the Board on Thursday.

SEJC ANNUAL REPORT TO BUF BOARD - March 2017 - February 2018

General Updates, Finances and Policy Changes

  1. Since March 2017, we passed kiosk guidelines and welcomed new leadership: Shari Walton as Secretary, Beth Brownfield as Nominating Chair and Ann Stevenson as our new Interfaith Coalition rep.
  2. Presented the Black Lives Matter resolution to the congregation which passed resulting in the introduction of Eracism Minutes during Sunday service.
  3. Added a 4th meeting (in May) solely for voting on special collection recipients.
  4. At the beginning of the fiscal year, the balance of our funds for distribution were $10,800. Plus our endowment value as of Jan 2018 was $32,800. Our average annual income from Fair Trade coffee sales has been about $2000 but it has been going down. For first 6 months this year, it was only $413. In July 2017 we pulled 5% from our endowment fund for annual distribution which came to $1500.
  5. We are very proud of BUF for the new level of generosity for the Special Collections. For the first 6 months of this fiscal year, the total comes to $15,500.
  6. A new Ministry Action team is being formed to address homelessness. Their first project will be as the BUF team to support Interfaith Coalition’s Family Promises program.

Events held and co-sponsored during the past 12 months

  • ACLU People Power Action Event Youth Climate Advocacy Panel
  • Public forum on Transgender issues/ I-I1552
  • Indigenous Colombian leader event
  • Democracy School
  • Interweave Thanksgiving Potluck
  • Interweave New Year's Eve party
  • Laura Love Concert
  • YouthNet event
  • Movie Presentation National Geographic "Gender revolution"
  • Abundance Swap
  • Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival showing of film at BUF
  • Hildes-Weil Benefit Concert

Donations to outside organizations in the past 12 months

In the past 12 months we have donated $2000:
  • SEJC donation to stone marker:  $200
  • Support H2A farm workers:  $200
  • Food Bank donation in Kay Witter’s name:  $300
  • NW UU Justice Summit & scholarships to summit:  $200
  • MLK Conference:  $200
  • Bham Human Rights Film Festival (in Jerry Brownfield’s name):  $200
  • Legal defense of immigrant activist Maru Mora-Villapondo:  $500
  • PFLAG dance:  $200
Submitted by Linda J Fels
SEJC Chair

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

OCTOBER 10, 2015 AT BUF!!!

(Pre-summit Event October 9, 2015)

Join us for the 5th Annual Northwest UU Justice Summit – a vital, gathering of Unitarian Universalists and many others who are working to make the world a better place to live.
Come for information, inspiration, camaraderie, and transformation.

Discover new allies and share techniques for working effectively across cultures, across faiths, and across our ever-changing secular world.

Come to share the challenges and the possibilities of justice work. To ready yourself and others to speak to power and to shape decisions that matter.

Connect with others working on the issues that concern you most.

To REGISTER, go to http://www.nwuujn.org
Tailored to Your Needs
After you register, we will ask you which issues you want to work on at this year’s summit. A few weeks before the summit, you will help us choose issue-oriented breakout sessions, by voting on those that have been proposed.

In addition, we will spend the morning sessions at the summit diving deep into the experiences of two justice allies who are working for social, economic, and environmental justice.

A brief training in using our network’s resources will be provided.

Pre-Event Friday Evening, October 9.
Putting our words into Action The NW Tribes Declaration
Learn more and register for this pre-event at: http://tinyurl.com/Pre-event-Oct9

Monday, April 13, 2015


Earth Day 2015 is near.  Join us as we finish this Climate Justice Month in a big way!


RE Sponsored Community Night Dinner and Film

Viva La Causa: The Story of Cesar Chavez and A Great Movement for Social Justice

When:  Wednesday April 15, Dinner at 6:00 pm, Movie at 6:45 pm

Come for a wonderful southwest inspired feast prepared by Roz Reynolds and her team of helpers. Then join us, in the library, for a multigenerational movie event to learn about the inspiring work of Cesar Chavez to help us prepare for participating in the Farm Worker's March for Dignity on May 3.

Dinner costs $5 for adults, $4 for children, or $12 for families with small children.
For more details, visit our Community to Community Partnership blog.

Earth Day Celebration at BUF - Sunday April 19

9:15 am - Adult Forum:  "Proposed Environmental Tax for Washington” with representatives of CarbonWA

Join us as CarbonWA, an NGO (non-governmental organization) promoting a carbon tax here in WA talks about what that tax would look like. The proposed environmental tax reform will improve Washington’s economy and reduce Washington’s carbon pollution. It is a win/win for those of us who want to help spur economic growth and improve air quality by reducing pollution.

10:30 am - Sunday Service:  A Celebration of Mother Earth and Environmental Justice

Poets Matthew Brouwer, Kevin Murphy, Betty Scott, singer, musician, JP Falcon Grady and the Women’s Ensemble join Rev. Paul preaching, singing, and speaking up for Mother Earth.

Noon - C2C/BUF Partnership Celebration: A Look at the Past, A Glimpse of the Future

Come enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by our own Christopher Griffen-led team. Join us as we celebrate the C2C/BUF Partnership Team's tremendous accomplishments over the last two years and it's plans for the future.

Hear from C2C staff, farmworkers and BUF members about partnership activities. Ask questions and learn more about the partnership in preparation for the Partnership's renewal coming up for congregational vote in May. 

Activity table provided for our younger members.

Donations for lunch will be accepted.

Unist’ot’en Camp Fundraiser - Monday April 20

With guest appearances from the film's Directors David Goldberg and Eli Hirtle

When:  Monday April 20 AT 7 PM

Join us as WWU students tell the story and their experiences with the Unist’ot’en Camp, a First Nations resistance community whose 
purpose is to protect sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory in British Columbia, Canada from several proposed pipelines from the Tar Sands Gigaproject and shale gas from Hydraulic Fracturing Projects in the Peace River Region.

This is a FUNDRAISER for the camp.  Please be generous.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Thanks to everyone who attended the Dances of Universal Peace on Thursday.  It was a powerful experience!

We are entering Week 2 of Climate Justice Month.  This week's theme is Reckoning with and grieving the loss we are confronting, as well as other impacts of climate change.

Now we have another chance to participate in this national campaign.  On Wednesday April 1st at 6 pm, come to the Community Night Dinner, grab a plate of food and join us in the BUF library.  We will be showing the film "Origins: Our Roots. Our Planet. Our Future" starting at 6:15 pm.  Sponsored by our Food Justice Team.  Dinner costs only $5 for adults, $4 for children and $12 for families.  Movie showing is Free.

"Origins" is a journey into where we came from.  

Four years, 19 countries, and 24 experts in anthropology, medicine, ecology, and health have exposed the roots of our DNA and how to prevent the modern world from making you sick.

How can we live a healthy life in this modern world without poisoning the planet?  
How can we support natural systems as conscious consumers and be part of the solution?  

The world's top health and green experts come together in this beautiful movie to answer that very question.

To watch the trailer, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bDAWkne8wM.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


From World Water Day (March 22) to Earth Day (April 22), we will embark on a spiritual journey for climate justice. PLEASE join us by following us on this blog (enter your email address to the right under "Follow By Email") and by participating in as many of the activities as possible.  We hope to have something for everyone.  More events could be added, so check back periodically.

Climate Justice Month is a Commit2Respond initiative.  Commit2Respond is a UUA/UUSC collaboration and has grown to include a number of UUA affiliated organizations. Their efforts are to move and motivate UUs and other people of faith and conscience to act for climate justice. 

Climate Justice is working with those who disproportionately bear the burdens of climate change, who are leaders in the search for solutions, and their rights and needs are the bedrock of our collective climate justice work. This means working with and developing partnerships with communities of color, poor communities and other underrepresented groups who are already being impacted by climate change.

A preview of Climate Justice events at BUF:

   Sunday worship services and adult forums on relevant themes

   The Earth is our Mother: An Evening of Dances of Universal Peace” (March 26)

   “Origins: Our Roots. Our Planet. Our Future” film (April 1)

   Documentary on Cesar Chavez and Community Night Dinner (April 15)

   C2C/BUF Partnership Celebration (April 19)

   Unist’ot’en Camp Fundraiser (date pending) 

Beyond Climate Justice Month:

   College of Social Justice (Solidarity with Original Nations and Peoples: Apr 25-May 2)
   Farm Worker March for Dignity (May 3) 
   UU General Assembly (Jun 24 - 28)

Posted by Linda J Fels
SEJC Action Team Coordinator

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Holidays & Justice

While you are getting into the spirit of the holiday season, here are several opportunities to participate in social justice and environmental justice events here at BUF in the coming days.  Our address is 1207 Ellsworth Street  Bellingham, WA 98225.

As I learn of more, I will add them. To make sure you receive our posts, type in your email address in the "Follow by Email" box to the right.

Friday Nov. 28, 2014  7 PM: Native American Heritage Day Concert

Join us at 7 PM for an amazing evening with all Native performers.  

Free admission, however donations welcome and appreciated. Spend your evening in community on this national day of greatest greed.  You will be moved!!

This is the second year that BUF has hosted this event. Last year's concert was wonderful and I fully expect this year's to be even better.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday Nov. 30, 2014  10:30 AM: BEING LUMMI - Past, Present & Future

In recognition of Native American Heritage Awareness month, our Sunday service will take us through a journey of "Being Lummi".  Lummi elders, leaders, and youth will speak to us through the Voices of the Past, the Present and the Future.  

Join us and our Lummi friends as we share a brief time together exploring reflections of where Lummi has been, where it is now, and where it looks to go in the future. 

Speakers will include: Lawrence Solomon, Councilman Jay Julius, and Councilwoman Shasta Cano-Martin

Performers: The Jefferson Sisters, and Swil Kanim

Tuesday Dec. 2, 2014  7 PM: 4th Annual Abundance Swap

Bellingham continues an alternative holiday tradition by offering a community gathering
to celebrate our abundance and offer an alternative to holiday shopping.

People bring 3 - 5 new or gently used gift-like items to give away and go home with 3 - 5 gifts to give for the holidays. Children are encouraged to attend.  Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.  You may bring a finger food sweet treat to share.  Participants are responsible for taking home items that are not chosen.

Sponsored by BUF SEJC (Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship's Social & Environmental Justice Committee) and Jill MacIntyre Witt.

Doors open at 6:30 PM and swap is from 7 - 8 PM.

For more, visit the Abundance Swap Facebook event page.

Thursday Dec. 4, 2014  7 PM:  And the Journey Continues . . .

Join us to hear the sharing of stories from the Totem Pole Journey this summer.  

Posted by Linda Fels, SEJC Communications

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Announcing the 2014-2015 SEJC Executive Team!

  • Susan Thurn, Chair
  • Kara Black, Vice Chair
  • Marsha Buly, Secretary
  • Todd Jones, Treasurer & Finance Chair
  • Sarah Edwards, Ministry Action Teams Chair
  • Carl Nyblade, Nominating Chair
  • Linda Fels, Communications Chair
We now have a system in place to handle requests between committee-as-a-whole meetings which only occur 3 times a year.  Whether it is for a co-sponsorship, with or without use of our building, scholarship or donation request, call for volunteers or statement endorsement, we now have an SEJC Request Form.  Either click on the link here or find it under our SEJC Page at BUF.org.  When you submit the form, it will automatically be sent to our committee chair who will forward it for discussion and vote by the executive team.  Please allow at least a week for us to process your request.

SAVE THE DATE:  Our next meeting of the committee-as-a-whole is scheduled for Sunday September 14, 2014 in the BUF Library.  We begin at noon with a lunch potluck.  Call for agenda items will go out soon.