Arlington Street Church, Unitarian Universalist. Gathered in Love and Service for Justice and Peace. 351 Boylston Street, Boston, MA

Social Action Committee

Uncomfortable Conversations about Race

Sunday, February 25th ~ 12:30 pm, Program Room

The Transformation Team for Racial Justice offers this time and space for facilitated discussion and continuing conversation about developing an antiracist worldview. We hold these conversations periodically at Arlington Street Church. All are welcome and no RSVP is needed. For more information, email

Care For Mother Earth

Plastic was invented around 150 years ago. Think about how much plastic has been used in our country since then! It is still unknown how many hundreds of years it will take it to decompose; every single plastic item is still in existence! Let's pledge to buy fewer groceries and drinks packaged in plastic. Think about buying milk in cardboard cartons or salad greens in cellophane packages. What changes can you make? You can make a difference! This information is shared by members of the Social Action Committee and ASC members of Mothers Out Front.

Car Donations Made Easy!

Donate your vehicle and receive a tax deduction! If you are finally splurging on that new car, donate your trade-in to Arlington Street. The process is easy - get started by calling 855-500-RIDE (7433) or visiting

Hate Crimes Hotline

Attorney General Maura Healey has launched a new hotline to help protect the basic civil rights of residents and visitors to Massachusetts. To report an incident of a bias-motivated threat, harassment, or violence, call 800-994-3228. Learn more at

A Marriage Proposal

If you are LGBTQ and seeking to be legally married before the new presidential administration takes office, our affiliated minister, Rev. Joanna Lubkin, will officiate your wedding free of charge (location TBD). Jo says, "We love you. Your rights are important to us, and we will do what we can to protect them!" To find out more, email or call the church office at 617-536-7050.

Coffee Hour and Lunch

Sundays ~ Immediately following worship, Parish Hall

Let's all gather downstairs for coffee, soup, sandwiches, and community! If you're visiting Arlington Street Church or would
like information about Unitarian Universalism, please visit the Welcome Table.
We welcome additional volunteers to help with food preparation and, especially, with clean-up. To volunteer, and for more information about joining our team, please stop by the kitchen today or contact Jon Ellertson.

Just Coffee—Just In!

Immediately following worship, Parish Hall
Stock up on "caffeine with a conscience" at the Social Action table in the Parish Hall today. Just Coffee is made from organic, shade-grown beans that are free from chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Try this delicious coffee and support a grower-owned cooperative and their mission to alleviate poverty in Chiapas, Mexico. Dark and light roast options are available in both ground and bean form for just $12 per pound. Learn more at

Friday Night Supper Program, Inc.

Help your homeless and hungry neighbors!

The Friday Night Supper Program has been serving hot, nutritious, meals to over 150 homeless and low-income people every Friday evening since 1984.
There are many ways in which you can support the program:
· We welcome Arlington Street volunteers to help with the meal–either during the daytime prep shift (1-4 pm), or in the evening to help serve the meal (5-7:45 pm)
· Make a tax deductible cash donation
· Donate warm clothing and toiletries. We especially need winter hats, gloves, and scarves

Secure donations can be made by following the DONATE link on our website, To volunteer or for more information, contact the Executive Director, Amber Pittenger at, 617-536-7050 x22 or email Amber at

Committee Meetings are Second Sunday of each month ~ 9:30 am

We welcome and support anyone who would like to have Arlington Street Church address a social justice issue of importance, and has energy and ideas to help make it happen. Come to our meetings! Join a task force! Form a task force on an issue that is important to you! Contribute your ideas, energy, and talents to help us keep Social Action the important part of Arlington Street Church it has historically been. Our committee chair is Margy Herley at

We also like to support people who are working with groups outside the church. Bring brochures and leaflets for our table and bulletin board to let people know about the good work you are doing, and how they can be involved.

We staff a Social Action and letter writing table most Sundays during coffee hour, with letters addressed to public officials or business leaders on a local, national, or international issues. You can sign a letter, write a letter about an issue that is important to you, or help out at the table anytime.

Animal Issues Group

Do you believe in kindness toward animals, yet are uneasy about the ways animals are treated in today's world? Have you considered switching to a plant based diet, but making changes seems overwhelming? Do you feel compassion for others should be as inclusive as possible? If you would like to see animal issues as part of our social action initiatives, please email the social action committee at, and place "animal issues" in the subject line. We can discuss how to make changes in our daily lives, support the national UU Animal Ministry, and educate interested members of our congregation about living more mercifully, healthfully, and sustainably.

Elizabeth (Dinny) Fletcher is a lifelong animal lover, and current board member of the Boston Vegetarian Society. She also volunteers for the Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition (MARC). Dinny would welcome any level of participation or discussion of animal issues.

Contacting the Transformation Team for Racial Justice

The Transformation Team for Racial Justice is an ongoing task force of Arlington Street Church that seeks to identify and eliminate interpersonal and institutional barriers of racism and oppression, and build a justice-seeking, multiracial, multicultural community. If you have suggestions, questions, comments, or concerns for The Team, please email, attend our open meetings on the third Tuesday of every month from 7 - 8:30 p.m. or speak with a team member (Sarah Cooleybeck, Margy Herley, Peter Lowber, Laura Pattison, Nancy Perna, Steve Marable, and Barbara Seidl). Membership on the Team requires a one year commitment and anti-racism/anti oppression/multicultural training.

Are you concerned about Global Warming?

The Social Action Committee (SAC) has received a request from First Parrish Cambridge's (UU), Environmental Justice Task Force, to join with them to talk about climate action in the context of a church, and the benefits of divesting church endowments. The SAC is supportive of the initiative, but needs one or more individuals passionate about climate change to spearhead our participation. If interested, please contact SAC Chair, Art Judge, at, or talk to any member of the committee.

Rice Sticks and Tea

A food pantry for Asian families; a project of the UU Urban Ministries


On December 3rd, Peter Lowber and Rev. Kim received an award on behalf of the congregation from the Chelsea Collaborative, the grassroots immigrant rights organization that is the largest provider of services to unaccompanied minors in Massachusetts: food, clothing, medical support, social work, and advocacy in public schools, housing, and with the police. The citation on the plaque reads, "Social and Economic Justice Champion ~ Arlington Street Church ~ For being true to your faith and values by standing up to support and welcome Immigrant Families." A very, very special thanks is due to Peter for his tireless work in our good name. The service begins when the service ends! Congratulations, friends!

Current Activities

Social Action at a Glance

Join the Social Action Committee

Join our team and get support on the social action topic you are passionate about: voting rights, climate change, economic inequality, gun violence, Citizens United, homelessness, and more. We meet on the second Sunday of each month at 9:30 am. For more information, contact Margy Herley at "The service begins when the service ends."

Contacting the Transformation Team for Racial Justice

The Transformation Team for Racial Justice is an ongoing task force of Arlington Street Church that seeks to identify and eliminate interpersonal and institutional barriers of racism and oppression, and build a justice-seeking, multiracial, multicultural community. If you have suggestions, questions, comments, or concerns for The Team, please email, attend our open meetings on the third Thursday of every month from 7 - 8:30 p.m, or speak with a team member (Sarah Cooleybeck, Margey Herly, Peter Lowber, Nancy Perna, Steve Marable, and Barbara Seidl). Membership on the Team requires a one year commitment and anti-racism/anti oppression/multicultural training.

Villages without Walls

Villages without Walls anti-violence work has been supported by Arington Street Church since Jubilee began. In 2008 and 2009, ASC provided partial funding for Villages's summer employment and training program for gang involved youth in Dorchester, MA. The program is now operating year round on a shoestring budget, provided this year by the Boston Foundation.
Arlington Street Church members have provided service as part of our Jubilee project, in the form of technical assistance, board support, community dialogues, food pantry support, and sheetrock work days. In 2011, $1,250 of the Fund-A-Need money donated to Jubilee is supporting the production of a documentary by Villages program participants.

"Secure Communities"—Not in Massachusetts!

Arlington Street Church in conjunction with New Sanctuary Movement and a broad group of immigrant rights and community groups worked hard to defeat the frightening "Secure Communities" program from being implemented in MA. In response to our activity, Governor Patrick recently announced that his administration would not endorse this federal program aimed at finding and deporting undocumented immigrants. The work continues! We are now actively engaged in opposing hateful budget amendments targeting undocumented people.

More Support for New Orleans

The New Orleans Style High Tea fundraiser and $1,250 from Jubilee Fund-A-Need donations helped our volunteers travel to New Orleans in May, 2011 and purchase and install a drip irrigation system for the Lamanche Community Farm in the Lower 9th Ward.

2011 Haitian Coalition Trip to Haiti

Jubilee Fund-A-Need donations of $1,250 and funds raised at the International Gala for Haiti helped Arlington Street Church to once again work with the Haitian Coalition. Our trip to Haiti in 2011 was two-pronged. First, we replaced the deteriorating tent school in Camp Caradeux with a new 4-classroom school outfitted with amenities that foster learning. Second, a team of medical volunteers provided assistance to earthquake victims by holding medical and psychological clinics in the camp, while outreaching to other areas. The team delivered workshops on health education, substance abuse, skills building, and other topics.

Only A Child

Only A Child has used the $1,390 it received from Jubilee Fund-A-Need to pay for a year of university for Marvin, a youngster in the program. He became an orphan at 8 years of age and became homeless at 10, when his grandmother died. He was a hard core street kid on drugs until he turned his life around after coming to Only A Child. He works full time in the carpentry shop, cares for his 9 year old son with help from George Leger, the founder and director of Only A Child, and goes to university at night. Arlington Street Church's support for many years has helped to make successes like this possible.

Service Learning Trip to Arizona Borderlands

New Sanctuary Movement used its Jubilee Fund-A-Need donation of $908 for expenses related to the church's delegation which spent one week of learning, witness, service, and reflection in southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. During the trip, the delegation worked with the interfaith humanitarian-aid organization, Tucson Samaritans; the bi-national border ministry, Frontera de Cristo; and the immersion-education organization, BorderLinks.

School Backpacks for Homeless Children

As part of annual MLK National Day of Service, Arlington Street Church raised $809 to provide K-12 homeless children with new, high-quality backpacks filled with school supplies. In the spring of 2011 we purchased 32 backpacks and the contents. Our children filled the backpacks during Sunday CRE, and School on Wheels of Massachusetts distributed them in time for the start of the new school year. Thanks to all who gave so generously to make this possible.

A Week of Service in Haiti

Check out the Faith without Borders blog to read about Arlington Street Church's week of service in Haiti.

Coffee Hour Is Not Magic

Week after week, our dedicated team of hard-working volunteers, headed up by Sharon Pressly-Fiero and Jon Ellertson, manage to nourish our bodies deliciously and provide a forum for us to visit with each other after worship. They do the menu planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, AND their efforts and your donations helped contribute over $5,000 for church operations in 2011. We thank the team for taking such good care of us!

And How We Served Each Other!

You bought Fair Trade coffee and gifts for the holidays and supported not only the producers, but the work of the Social Action Committee. You ordered pies at Thanksgiving from Community Servings, a non-profit that prepares and delivers daily lunches and dinners to homebound individuals. You sang in the choir and delighted us with your voices. You helped clean the sanctuary at the Dust-A-Thon. You contacted folks to remind them to support the church with a Covenant Renewal pledge. You helped put on the splendid Indulge Gala to raise money for all sorts of good works. You sang carols at Brighton House; you lead a class, a course, or a workshop at the church; you helped get Inside/OSS ready; you were part of the worship team; you worked on a committee and helped do the business of the church; you reached out to newcomers; you came to worship together!