Social Justice

The Social Justice Ministry Team is responsible for three primary ministries:  Environmental, Faith in Kern, and Open and Affirming.

  • Environmental Ministry is committed to actively cherishing and protecting the good Earth that our Creator has provided as our home.

Statement of Responsibility – 8 July 2018

WHO WE ARE / WHAT WE DO

The Environmental Ministry Team’s main task is to introduce church members and others to an understanding of our connection to natural world and all Earth’s physical and biological systems.  We will work towards helping members and our community understand the need to protect and conserve our natural resources; our air, soil water, plants, and animals in a manner that ensure our posterity’s future in harmony with nature, as well as the continued survival of the rich diversity of life on Earth.  We will initiate projects in order to strive towards these ends.  For us, there is no Planet B.

Ecology Team (cropped)

To assist us, the Environmental Ministry works with the Tehachapi Branch of Farmworker Institute for Education and Leadership Development (FIELD.)  A FIELD crew helps us with landscaping projects, such as those shown below.  FIELD also handles TCC’s recycling program.  This ministry encourages the congregation in their recycling efforts.

 FIELD Landscape Crew Improving Church Gardens

The United Church of Christ is an eco-conscious church, committed to caring for the environment.

Equal Exchange Logo

We are also proud to celebrate our Fair Trade ProjectJoin us after Sunday morning worship for fairly traded coffee and tea from Equal Exchange. Limited fair trade goods (such as coffee, tea, chocolate) are also available for purchase.

 

  • Faith in Kern Vision Statement:  Co-creating a more just, inclusive, and equitable Tehachapi.

Faith in Kern Mission Statement:  The Faith in Kern ministry, along with staff members from Faith in the Valley Kern, a community organizing non-profit works to live out our faith and the church’s commitment to justice, inclusion, and compassion in our community.  The Faith in Kern Ministry provides an opportunity for all to step into that faith, to build a more just and equitable Tehachapi.  We actively work for a day when all have access to quality healthcare, affordable housing, clean air and water, good-paying jobs, and justice for our immigrant family, friends, and neighbors.

We stand ready to live out the UCC’s purpose statement from the Gospel of Matthew: to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and our neighbor as ourself.  Our work is aligned with the recently released United Church of Christ mission and vision statements, particularly in the call for welcome and a just world for all.

 

DACA Lenten Vigil (cropped)

Members stand up for the rights of families (Bakersfield 2018)

Know Your Rights Training - Rosa Lopez(May 2018) (2)

The Faith in Kern Ministry, assisted by Faith in the Valley Kern community organizer Alex Gonzalez planned and held a Know Your Rights event on May 30 at Friendship Hall. Ms. Rosa Lopez, an organizer for ACLU Southern California in Bakersfield, conducted the training in Spanish for approximately 25 attendees. The training concentrated on the rights of immigrants when encountering immigration officials in the workplace, home, during traffic stops and other common situations.

  • Open and Affirming Ministry (ONA) supports the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Questioning Community (LGBTQ.)

(Above right) Local LGBTQ+ activists, with help from Stephanie Smith from the Faith in Kern Ministry at TCC, cooperated in organizing Tehachapi’s first public Pride event, June 30th, in the Philip Marx Central Park.  Over 100 attendees came from Tehachapi, Lancaster, and as far away as Los Angeles, for food and fellowship.

The following statement was adopted by TCC in 2015:

The justice we seek is by its very nature a universal concept, embracing and welcoming all people.  We recognize that the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning) community has been the target of discrimination and judgment, and we consciously choose to renounce that discrimination and judgment, by declaring ourselves an open and affirming (ONA) church, embracing justice and welcoming people of diverse sexual and gender orientations into the full communion of our church and to our friendship.

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