The Social Justice Committee is active in out community and this page will keep you informed about events and opportunities in our area.  For more information contact Kathy Baros Friedt.  kbfriedt@comcast.net 

Click on the link for the Interfaith Newsletter for important events in our community:

Interfaith Works


Thurston County Prosecutor Candidate Forum

In August an article in the Sojourner called Prosecuting Attorneys, “The Most Powerful People in the System.”  It highlighted the important role of Prosecutors in swaying equitable justice. Good time then to come listen and ask questions: Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation will be sponsoring a forum for the two candidates for Prosecuting Attorney on Tuesday, September 25 at 7pm at OUUC (2315 Division St. NW). Rev. Carol McKinley, OUUC Affiliated Minister, will serve as moderator.Questions: kbfriedt@comcast.net

Michael Ramos, Church Council of Greater Seattle speaking in Olympia –

                Mr. Ramos will be speaking on Sept. 30,  at the 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 services at The United Churches of Olympia, 11th Ave. SE and Washington Streets on Immigrant Public Sanctuary in Washington state faith communities. Should be fascinating to hear what Washington faith communities are considering. Ramos understands the concerns and the joys which arise! Questions:  kbfriedt@comcast.net

New Wa. State Evidence Rule Protects Immigrants - ER 413

David Martin, Ken Masters, and Joe Morrison, NW Lawyer, July 2018 - "The Washington Supreme Court adopted ER 413, which strictly limits the use of immigration-status evidence in judicial proceedings, last year. The rule, which takes effect Sept. 1, 2018, will make evidence about a person’s immigration status “generally inadmissible” in both civil and criminal matters, unless limited exceptions are met. Providing immigrants with access to our courts and a fair trial is essential to justice in Washington. ER 413 will protect both the victim of domestic violence and the wrongfully harmed civil litigant from having immigration-status evidence overwhelm the merits of their cause. To our knowledge, this evidence rule is the first of its kind in the nation."

 

SANCTUARY IN OLYMPIA

Temple Beth Hatfiloh is taking the step of declaring itself a sanctuary congregation in conjunction with pledged support from many other faith communities (including SBC) and immigrant rights organizations throughout the region. TBH has undergone  extensive research and  self determination over nearly a year to be certain the entire membership understood and stood behind such a huge responsibility. It is an unknown when/if such a request for sanctuary would come forward, but they stand committed. Given their history of being “the other,”  they feel deeply called to fulfill this role when needed.  All are invited to attend the formal announcement and brief program, followed by refreshments, next Wednesday, August 29th, 5 pm, at Temple Beth Hatfiloh, 201 8th Ave. SE, Olympia. Please come and show your support of the Temple.

Oppose "Public Charge" Changes

As part of our firm belief that Families Belong Together, FAN is participating in a coalition response to proposed changes to the federal Public Charge rule. We invite you to get familiar with the issue so when the federal comment period opens, you can take action to stop the change.

The Public Charge rule is currently applied to immigrants seeking legal permanent residency (green cards) as a way to determine if they are a "public charge" by being dependent on public assistance (cash assistance or long-term care aid). The proposed change would extend the definition of "public charge" to include immigrants who access a large range of benefits that they are legally entitled to, such as food assistance/SNAP, health care programs, housing assistance, and Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC).

If this change is approved, it would put immigrant families at risk if they seek access to public services. Essentially, this would be another way our government will separate families and jeopardize their well-being.

Take Action!

Organizational Sign-on FAN has signed onto a letter from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) opposing this rule change. Encourage your organization (no individuals) to sign with us here.

Share Information Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) has a helpful flyerwith more information about the proposed rule change, who may be affected, and how you can support immigrants in your networks. Help educate your community and prepare for public comment. More information also available from the Children's Alliance.

Individual Public Comment There will be a time of public comment when you as an individual have the opportunity to voice your concerns about this damaging proposal. Stay tuned for more information on where to comment in the next few weeks. For information on how to comment and what to consider, see Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)'s flyer.

Our faith traditions teach us to affirm the basic needs and rights of our neighbors.We must demand our government do the same!

 

Working with the homeless is year round activity.  Information on different workshops located at the Community Care Center on 225 State Ave in Olympia.  Workshops August 23, Sept 27, October 25 6-8PM

The Important Role of Prosecutors

Recent Sojourner article shared at SBC was entitled “The Most Powerful People in the System.”  It highlighted the important role of Prosecutors in swaying equitable justice.Good timing then to take note:   
Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation will be sponsoring a forum for the two candidates for Prosecuting Attorney on Tuesday, September 25 at 7pm at OUUC (2315 Division St. NW). Rev. Carol McKinley, OUUC Affiliated Minister, will serve as moderator.

What would Initiative 1639 do?

Frequently Asked Questions

Initiative 1639 addresses many of the root causes of recent mass shooting tragedies by:

  • Raising the age to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles to 21.

  • Creating an enhanced background check similar to what is required for handguns. This includes a

    local law enforcement check, a 10-day waiting period, and an annual check to ensure purchasers

    continue to be eligible to possess a firearm.

  • Requiring completion of a firearm safety training course within the last five years. The training would

    include basic safety and secure storage rules, safe handling, and an overview of state and federal

    firearms laws.

  • Creating standards for Dangerous Access Prevention. These standards hold gun owners accountable

    if a child or other prohibited person accesses and uses an unsecurely stored firearm to hurt themselves or someone else.

    How will the initiative help to reduce gun violence?

    Semi-automatic assault rifles are designed to kill as many people as possible in a matter of seconds. In mass shootings where such weapons are used, 135 percent more people are shot and 57 percent more are killed. For example, the Las Vegas shooter was able to kill 58 people and injure an additional 500 in a matter of seconds. Because these guns are so lethal, putting commonsense measures in place to ensure they don’t fall into dangerous hands is an evidence-based approach to reducing gun violence.

    Why should we raise the age to buy a semi-automatic rifle to 21?

    Why is a local law enforcement background check so important?

    Local law enforcement checks the most up-to-date court, criminal, and mental health databases to ensure someone on the prohibited purchaser list (for a number of reasons) is not allowed to purchase a gun. The 10-day waiting period ensures these comprehensive checks are completed in full.

    What is the annual check that is part of the enhanced background check?

    The annual check process to ensure continued eligibility to possess a firearm will be created by the Department of Licensing (DOL) and relevant law enforcement and state agencies. The initiative directs them to work together to define the process within a year.

Raising the age to purchase from 18 to 21 to match our rules for handguns just makes sense. Studies show that people 18 to 21 years of age commit a disproportionate number of firearm homicides in the United States. We know from research that the brain does not fully mature until a later age, especially the part of the brain responsible for decision making, risk assessment, and impulse control.

What is Dangerous Access Prevention, and how does it help keep our kids safe?

Dangerous Access Prevention incentivizes secure storage by creating criminal liability, depending on the severity of the incident, if a child or other prohibited person accesses and uses an unsecurely stored firearm to hurt themselves or someone else. Research shows access to a firearm in a moment of crisis can be the difference between life and death. In the almost 20 years since Columbine, more than 210,000 students have experienced gun violence at school. In cases where the source of the gun could be determined, more than 80 percent of shooters brought them from their own home or from the home of friends or relatives, and seven-in-ten of these shooters were under 18.

Do other states have a law like this?

This is a first-of-its-kind gun responsibility policy modelled on background check processes we currently use in Washington for other firearms and on proven laws in other states. For example, Dangerous Access Prevention is built upon successful policies in Florida, California and 28 other states. States with access prevention laws in place for at least one year saw a 23 percent drop in unintentional firearm deaths among youth younger than 15 years old.

How will this policy impact hunters?

Hunting rifles are not addressed in this initiative because the majority of rifles typically used for hunting are not semi-automatic. The Dangerous Access Prevention component does apply to all firearms, including hunting rifles.

Shouldn’t we just ban all assault weapons?

We’re going to the ballot with the strongest, most comprehensive, life-saving policy that will pass in Washington with an overwhelming majority. We know Washington voters want stronger gun laws, so we are taking this policy directly to the people.

Who is sponsoring the initiative?

The campaign is led by the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a coalition of concerned citizens and organizations working together to forge commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence. The Alliance has run two successful ballot initiatives in the past, Universal Background Checks in 2014 and Extreme Risk Protection Orders in 2016, which passed with 59 percent and 69 percent of the vote, respectively.

Who supports this policy?

The initiative is supported by a broad coalition of Washingtonians. Supporters include law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges, public health experts and mental health professionals, gun owners, students, teachers, parents, gun violence survivors, domestic violence advocates, and many others.

How is this initiative being funded?

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility is running the campaign for Initiative 1639 with support from generous donors across Washington State. We are continually fundraising and rely on the generosity of all levels of individual donors to support our voter education efforts.

How can I help?

Join our volunteer team! Volunteers are needed immediately to help gather over 250,000 signatures to place Initiative 1639 on the November ballot! Please visit YesOn1639.org/volunteer, e-mail us at info@yeson1639.org, or call campaign headquarters at 206-718-3529.

###
Paid for by Safe Schools, Safe Communities PO Box 4187 Seatte, WA 98194. Top five donors: Paul Allen, Sibyl Frankenburg, Nick Hanauer, Steven Kessel, Michael Mathieu

 

Some photos of Memorial Day Poor Peoples' Campaign focus on Militarism and Gun Violence.  May 28, 2018. 

May 8

On behalf of the Family Support Center of South Sound, THANK YOU for your generous contribution at our ‘Inspire Hope-Ignite Change’ Luncheon on May 1. We are glad that representatives from St Benedict Episcopal Church were  able to join us at Indian Summer Golf & Country Club to learn more about the mission and goals of the Family Support Center. It is community members like you that make our work possible. Your gift ensures that hard working families like Karrie and Mike’s receive the resources and caring support they need to be safe, healthy, resilient, and most importantly - hopeful.

We are pleased to share that with your help we surpassed our fundraising goal, raising over $24,000. This funding will bring strength and hope to more than 2,000 local families in need this year! Your contribution helps the Family Support Center achieve our mission, Working Together to Strengthen ALL Families. We provide numerous services and community resources to families including advocacy, emergency financial assistance, homeless family shelter, affordable housing, parent education workshops, basic needs supplies, case management, mainstream benefits assistance, resource coordination, and more. The Family Support Center will continue to provide children and families the support they need because of you

We are incredibly grateful for you and our community; you continually bring us hope. The power of hope resides in each of us and all people are worthy of respect. Thank you for recognizing this and for supporting families in your community. On behalf of our Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and families like Karrie and Mike’s, we sincerely thank you.

If you would like to watch, ‘A Home to Call Our Own’ again you can find it here.

May 2

St Benedict's supported this organization’s excellent work on behalf of homeless families.  Pear Blossom talked to the Social Justice group at SBC on April 23.  Attending the event were: Paul Seabert, Lucy Rueter, Martha and Collie Liska, Fran Frodsham and Kathy Baros Friedt.

 

 

1. Raise the minimum purchase age to 21 for all semi-automatic weapons.

Mar 29, 2018

Thurston County has released the results of its 2018 Point in Time Count of Homeless People, which showed that the number of homeless people in the county has increased significantly.

On January 25, 2018, the day of the PIT census, 828 homeless people were counted. 324 of those were identified as unsheltered. Those numbers represent a 43 percent increase in Thurston County’s homeless population in one year.

According to the county, the recent PIT census resulted in the second highest number of homeless people counted since the census started 12 years ago.

“The results of the latest census are extremely alarming, and indicate that we are in the midst of a major homeless and affordable housing crisis in our community,” said Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Director Schelli Slaughter. “This is going to take a coordinated response effort and more resources than we currently have. The record numbers of those living outdoors without safe, stable housing is a great public health and humanitarian concern, and we know that the problem is likely even larger than we were able to capture in this survey.” 

The initial PIT report has a 3 percent margin of error. Final results, including demographic information and the causes of homelessness in the region, will be released in May of this year.

 

There aren’t really children among our local homeless, are there?

April 22, 9:15-10:15. Social Justice Ministry Guests will be here from PEAR BLOSSOM PLACE where a minimum of 36 parents and children find safety, warmth, and hope at shelter each night.  School aged children are guaranteed access to education. Just imagine a child living in a shelter and functioning in the classroom!  Come hear the stories and show a SBC welcome!!

Community in Crisis; We're watching them watch us.  

http://www.chinookobserver.com/co/columns/20180306/community-in-crisis-were-watching-them-watch-usx2026#.WrEVm_CMirQ.faceboo

Article: Finding Freedom From Fear

MINISTRY BUDGET PROPOSAL 2018

Ministry Name:          Social Justice Ministry (SJM)

Ministry Leader          Kathy Baros Friedt      360-943-6139             kbfriedt@comcast.net

Expenses – Estimated Budget for 2018 . This is new. There is no existing budget for this ministry.

1.     Support for any congregant who may want to accompany any religious leadership within the Diocese of Olympia should there be a mission to another country or disaster assistance mission within the USA. I believe if such a trip were offered, that a congregant would normally have to pay their own expenses. This request is to set aside funds to cover that person’s expenses.              Estimated cost for up to two persons                             $2000

2.     The SJM may decide to provide financial support to any vulnerable or targeted  population within the area. This would generally be through another established church or organization, with  assurance that the target audience and purpose would be honored. Eg: Recently released detainees of the detention center;  support to a warming center or shelter for the homeless; support to refugee(s) in our community; victims of a hate crime or violence are some examples.             Estimated amount to be available                 $1000

3.     Support to any person involved in the SMJ  to attend a forum, symposium or workshop whose focus is on social justice issues, with the intent that person would bring back to SBC the training information .              Estimated amount to be available.                           $500

4.     Ability to purchase or rent material (books, DVDs )   related to SJM to bring back for SBC discussion                                     Estimated amount to be available.                             $100

5.     Purchase 100 hard plastic St Benedict Episcopal Church (Thurston Co) badges so that when any of us attend any community rally, service, protest, function – that this congregation’s participation is more visible.         Estimated amount to be available.                            $250 

Total 2018 Social Justice Ministry budget request____________________  $ 3850

 

peoples.jpg

A local nonprofit which has provided services to immigrant communities for decades. CIELO has especially been called into action around educating families about their rights under the Constitution to remain silent if not represented by an attorney and to not have ICE enter their homes without permission,  unless there is a warrant signed by a judge. Families are put at risk.  Frequently even those with lawful immigrant status, or even citizens, are swept up into detention. The NW Detention Center is in Tacoma. There were many questions about the Detention Center:  www.aidnw.org    St. John’s just completed an activity to gather specific back pack items for those coming out of the Center. 

CIELO and Strengthening Sanctuary    strengthening-sanctuary@googlegroups.com  are providing “Know Your Rights” workshops for immigrant and ally communities.  If individuals want to see what these KYR workshops might contain, you might like to view the slides or video-skits at www.immtrain.org/video-skits/     The primary site is www.immtrain.org . Follow the links. These were created locally and “star” Charo!

What can St Benedict’s do?  You may already have seen reference in the Vicar’s announcements that SBC, as part of the Interfaith Works planning, is weighing in with several other faith communities to participate in an AUGUST 20 potluck.  2-4:00. At Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd .  Holy Wisdom Inclusive Catholic Church (our spiritual tenant!) has taken lead. More information to follow. 
 

Kathy Baros Friedt provided a handoutwith details on several of these efforts.  Contact Kathy if Immigration and Refugee Protection Proclamation from Governor Jay Inslee.

 

Social Justice Ministry notes from May 21, 2017 

Eight interested SBC members held their first discussion exploring what a social justice ministry might look like at SBC.  Father Ed opened the conversation with prayer and urging that as Christians we are called upon to act out Christ’s values, to effectuate change on behalf of those most vulnerable in our daily lives. Others talked about the desire to apply our own humanity when we see injustice. 

Ministry leader, Kathy Baros Friedt, acknowledged that many SBC individuals are certainly  involved in social justice issues one-by-one or in small group efforts.  There is a list at the end of this article.

Many folks have heard about Interfaith Works but don’t really know what it does and how SBC connects to its activities.  Kathy shared IFW pamphlet which among other things listed the nearly thirty member faith communities. www.interfaith-works.org  At that same website, IFW’s May-June 2017 newsletter, Interfaith Connection includes an article looking at what kinds of activities Interfaith Member Congregations are interested in doing.

Some talked about how social justice activity is not only about resisting systems but more about advocating for how things should be carried out in love and justice--- promoting the Holy Spirit.

Current immigration and deportation fears is on the agenda for the 9:15 mtg on June 11, but because there was such interest in the topic, the group spent some time hearing about what currently is going on locally and asking what kinds of actions can be taken.  More on the topic of Immigration and what local faith communities are considering as ways to be involved, will be dealt with specifically on June 11. Interested SBC members are invited to attend!  Questions?  Kathy Baros Friedt     kbfriedt@comcast.net

St Benedict Episcopal Church honors all those members who volunteer their time to make our community strong

·      Monthly provide community dinner – mostly Oxford House attendees but open to homeless,. 3-4 church members are involved in this

·      4 SBC members volunteer as overnight hosts at the Sacred Heart (next door) men’s shelter.  Several shifts Nov-March.

·      Two members are SBC delegates to InterFaith Works and report back to the congregation

·      One member reports regularly on his participation in Jail Ministry.  Congregation participates in cookie and sock campaigns during the yr

·      SBC does have an Earth Ministry

·      Several members chair Easter Baskets for homeless children and the congregation is generous in providing dozens of baskets

·      Participated in the Pride Parade in the past.

·      Individual members participated in the Women’s March this yr

·      One member  is lead on  gathering of hundreds of calendars for SeaFarers ministry

·      One member is lead on gathering of volunteers to participate as part of a veterans event in the summer.

·      Individual church members belong to or participate in various nonprofit organizations as individuals, not representing SBC.

·      One member isactive in promoting communication, safety and peace in the Gaza Strip

·      Current Vicar involved in ministry in the Philippines

Information through local TV

  • Fear is UP!  Immigration is a major issue for all those concerned about protecting a very vulnerable population:    Local TV station, TCTV will be showing during the month of May, interviews by Glen Anderson from Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation on the topic of immigration with local activists. Those who have cable TV can watch it on TCTV cable channel 22,  available at three times a week during May.  Every Monday at 1:30 p.m.     * Every Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.  and *Every Thursday at 9:00 p.m.
  • The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s May 2017 interview…”Protect Immigrant Rights” can also be viewed through the “TV Programs” part of www.olympiafor.org.  Next to that link for watching the program is a Word document that summarizes what is said during the interview.  There are many other links available for more information.