United in Christ’s love, we’re building a just world for all. The fight for justice is a hallmark tradition of the United Church of Christ generally, and the Northern California Nevada Conference in particular.
We stood in solidarity with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers of the Central Valley fighting for fair wages. Our Golden Gate Association boldly ordained the Rev. William Johnson, the first openly gay clergyperson in the modern era of Christianity, to the ministry of word and sacrament. Even though our Conference was not of one mind in either of these instances, and in fact our communion was broken as congregations decided to withdraw from the Conference and United Church of Christ as a result of the actions, we could no longer resist the movement of the Holy Spirit among us — calling us toward justice.
Our interdenominational campus ministry at San Francisco State University, Ecumenical House, was a central hub for organizers and advocates of the student strikes which lead to the development of the College of Ethnic Studies — still the only freestanding college dedicated to academic research and action of the unique experiences of people of color in the United States.
We have taken multiple stands in support of indigenous people, including renouncing the Doctrine of Discovery and publicly acknowledging traditional territories of Native Americans in our Conference. Additionally, we continue to advocate for the self-determination of the Palestinian people and renounce the continued and expanding occupation of the State of Israel in Palestinian territories. We take this action in solidarity with interreligious populations from all three Abrahamic faiths and those of indigenous faiths.
Recognizing climate change as the moral imperative of our time, our Conference has taken direct action to reduce our climate impact, both in terms of advocacy and operational changes. Environmental justice is more than preserving the abundant natural beauty of our geography, it is an intersectional cause born of racism and sexism, among others.
Racial justice and anti-racism is a current priority of the Conference, with the intent to bring a resolution declaring ours an anti-racist Conference in 2020. Hard conversations about race and privileged opportunity, along with required education for all Authorized Ministers in racial equity and anti-racism, are just some of our plans in the year ahead.
Are you called to this justice work? Associate Conference Minister Davena Jones would love to speak further with you!