Social Action and Outreach Overview
Emerson offers many opportunities for you to get involved. Participation is open to everyone. New ideas are always welcome.
Our activities fall into three major areas:
Fighting for Justice
We address systemic and institutionalize discrimination through education, advocacy and witness. We often join with other UU organizations, such as UUSC, UUCSJ, TXUUJM, and UUV4J, on initiatives such as Black Lives Matter and Standing on the Side of Love. We participated in several UUV4J demonstrations in support of Prop 1 and visited our state legislators in Austin.
TXUUJM provides a vehicle for our congregations and the members of our association to make a difference in our state and to help those learning about Unitarian Universalism see the values for which we stand. During the past legislative session, we focused on these key issues: (1) Women’s Reproductive Justice; (2) Medicaid Expansion; and (3) Economic Justice/Income Inequality.
UUV4J is a network of UUs committed to public witness for justice in the Greater Houston area. We have chosen three areas that are often controversial, but that UUs stand behind with pride: (1) full inclusion of LGBTQ people; (2) full health care for women and their families; and (3) support of all people to worship as they are called without discrimination or intolerance.
This Foundation supports the Harris County Drug Court, Success Through Addiction Recovery (STAR) Program. STAR is an alternative to incarceration for long term drug addicts who have been arrested for a drug or drug related offense.
Houston Pride Festival and Parade
The Houston-area UU churches form one of the longest supporters of the parade and walk together to support the LGBTQ community.
Ministry for Earth
We promote environmental stewardship on individual, congregational, national and global levels, often in partnership with UU initiatives such as UU Ministry for Earth and Commit2Respond to climate change.
In 2015-2016 we kicked off the Renewable Congregations Campaign, expanded recycling, held sustainable dinners, volunteered at Plant It Forward Farms and Trash Bash, held a vigil in support of the COP21 in Paris on climate change.
Ministry for Earth’s Mission: to educate ourselves and others about environmental issues; advocate public policies to protect the global environment; act locally in our homes, church and city; and connect spiritually with the web-of-all-existence.
These programs address the “here and now” needs of our local community. We coordinate education and outreach opportunities surrounding equity issues (including fair trade, pay equity, living wage, human trafficking, health and housing, food and education disparity) both through Emerson’s unique programs (Groppe Scholarships and UUNO’s ESL program) and other nonprofits (Rebuilding Together Houston, Freedom Place, Planned Parenthood, and ABOVE POLITICS: Health Care for All Texans).
On Saturday afternoons at Emerson, we offer three different levels of English classes and provide childcare free of charge. The classes run for 12 consecutive Saturdays from 1:00 to 3:00 followed by an hour of conversation. We also offer Thursday-night conversation sessions (no childcare available) to work on vocabulary.
Provides funding for college educations at two-year institutions for academically talented high school seniors who are the first in their families to attend college. The program provides full tuition, fees and books. Once granted, the scholarship is guaranteed for the completion of an associate degree in the arts or sciences provided the student maintains an acceptable level of academic achievement as determined by the college.
Rebuilding Together Houston provides volunteers an opportunity to learn a new skill while helping an elderly or disabled Houstonian.
Mission: to educate our congregation and the larger community about the issues surrounding human trafficking.
Undies for Everyone
Raising funds to help children around the world while our community comes together for fun!
Interfaith Ministries’ Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston program provides a home-delivered meal to home-bound seniors over 60 and their spouses. The program also delivers breakfast and weekend meals to the most frail and isolated seniors. This nutritional support helps seniors stay independent and in their own homes.
Souper Bowl of Caring
We collect food and money for the Houston Food Bank.
Financial Support for Social Action at Emerson
Share the Plate (weekly collections during Sunday services)
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.