Social action is the lifeblood of our church. UCN works with other religious faiths and non-profit organizations who share our beliefs, and our hope that by working together we can begin to redress some of society’s injustices.
Family Promise of Ozaukee County
Family Promise works to rebuild lives with compassion by providing resources and services to individuals and families at risk of becoming homeless in Ozaukee County.
Ozaukee County, with a population of 87,000, had no shelter for the homeless in 2013. UCN spearheaded an interfaith coalition of a dozen churches to bring Family Promise to the county to help serve those at imminent risk of homelessness.
Since then, UCN has remained a strong supporter of Family Promise, with volunteers as well as donations. Originally, UCN rotated with other churches to house those in need in the church a week at a time, four times a year. When Covid-19 closed the churches in 2019, the agency reserved a block of ten hotel rooms to house people, and church members continue to bring home-cooked meals five nights a week.
In 2020, now with 17 participating churches and a record number of contributions, Family Promise assisted 56 households, including 46 children, and served 2,392 meals with the help of 320 volunteers. Services now include rental assistance, homeless prevention, and rapid rehousing, coordinated with local housing agencies and landlords.
Purchasing land and a former nursery school on Sunset Road in Port Washington, obtaining zoning and necessary financing, Family Promise expects to open the doors of the Portview Emergency Shelter during 2022. This new facility will offer temporary housing to families, as well as single men and women, in eight rooms with their own bathrooms. Those who are in need of shelter will also receive case management to assist them in stabilizing their lives by connecting to resources, employment, and stable housing.
“Family Promise showed me that giving up was not an option,” says a mother of 3 who received help when she and her family needed it most.
Visit familypromiseoz.org for more information, needed items to donate, and volunteer opportunities, 24/7.
Since 2004, UCN has been a member of MICAH (Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope), a faith-based network that includes more than 40 organizations in our area.
MICAH plays an active role in social justice issues that impact education, criminal justice, jobs, economic development, and community involvement. UCN members regularly attend and participate in MICAH activities, which include education and training on topics like transformative criminal justice strategies, and other crucial social issues that don’t have ready solutions. UCN pulpit guests from MICAH have included the Rev. Marilyn Miller, chair of the MICAH Religious Leaders’ Caucus and pastor of Reformation Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Milwaukee.
Black Lives Matter to Wisconsin UUs (BLM2WUUs)
UCN supports Black Lives Matter by participating in local events, donating money, and displaying our support on church grounds and our own homes. In 2021, UCN and four other UU churches created Black Lives Matter to Wisconsin UUs and together consider how reparations for racial injustices BLM2WUUs gave its first donations to Black-owned businesses in and around Milwaukee. UCN participates annually in an interfaith celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January and honors the history of Juneteenth and its celebration.
Ozaukee County NAACP
Meetings are held on the 1st Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm at the MATC-Mequon campus: 5555 W. Highland (Mequon, WI). General meetings are open to members of UCN, as well as the public.
In 2015, UCN achieved a Silver Life Membership in the national NAACP organization, for its 25-year history of NAACP membership. A commemorative plaque is displayed in UCN’s North Lobby.