Peace & Social Justice

The Peace and Social Justice (PSJ) Group exists to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person by direct charitable action through projects and services external to the church community.

We aim to “Walk the Talk” through actions that align with the Unitarian Universalist 7 Principles. Members of the PSJ Group are church members who are directly involved with PSJ Projects and Initiatives. The PSJ Group operates under agreed Terms of Reference for the PSJ Group. All projects are evaluated, and actions requiring funding must be approved by the Church Management Committee, and Church Treasurer. Approved projects are funded by a separate PSJ Fund, which derives income from PSJ pledges, donations, congregational monthly offertory and fundraising events.

Monthly updates on PSJ projects and activities are given to the church congregation at every 3rd Sunday Service of the month. These updates are (sometimes) available for viewing on the church website.

Peace and Social Justice action has long been a part of Unitarianism in Auckland, much of About Us / Our History / The communion of Unitarian Saints is concerned with Peace and Social Justice issues.

Contact our Peace and Social Justice Group

Prophet at the Gate

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You are invited to a Zoom Book Launch – Wayne Facer’s latest book

Saturday August 20th 5pm via Zoom (link below) – come and meet the author

Upon reading a copy of the book Sir Lloyd Geering said that “Norman Murray Bell deserves to have his life recorded” and he had “enjoyed reading it and seeing the grand collection of photos.”

Agenda – Launch will take no longer than one hour.

  • David Hines MC – Welcome to the speakers
  • Peter Lineham, Professor of History Massey University
  • Brent Efford, son of Lincoln Efford a contemporary of Bell, remembers meeting Norman Murray Bell
  • Wayne Facer

How to order the book? – instructions below – this can be done at any time

When the army called Bell in 1917, he flatly refused and was imprisoned for two years with hard labour. As one of New Zealand’s 2,320 military defaulters from the First World War, his civil rights were curtailed for ten years. This book details Bell’s peace activities as well as his leadership in the Unitarian movement.

The stories of our peace heroes and anti-war activists, are an important but neglected part of New Zealand and world history. Thankfully some are being documented, even though they are not given the attention they deserve by society.

Graham Murphy, writer and reviewer for Faith and Freedom, Oxford says; Wayne Facer’s biography details family history, school career, and the lasting effects of Bell’s devotion to peace. Consistent with the author’s earlier work, A Vision Splendid, this book is a fascinating read.

Laurie Ross, New Zealand Nuclear Free Peacemakers says; Prophet at the Gate is a major contribution in the documentation of NZ peace history. Peaceworkers continue the noble tradition of cultivating civic pride in higher social values of humanity and the spiritual struggle for human goodness, truth and beauty.

HOW TO ORDER

you can order your copy of the book here whether you attend the Zoom meeting or not – Details of pricing and options below;

Options for buying book
  1. New book only (Prophet at the Gate) = $35.75 includes GST and postage
  2. New book (Prophet at the Gate) plus A Vision Splendid 2nd edition (half price) = $50 includes GST and postage
How to buy book
  • Deposit into Auckland Unitarian Bank account; 02-0100-0024691-00 and note name, and book in the payee instructions
  • Send the following details to viv@tasel.co.nz or phone Viv at 021550180
    • Which option (1 or 2)
    • Postal address
    • Name you would like Wayne to write in the book when signing your copy
    • Email and Phone number in case we need to contact you

Cover of A vision Splendid, Wayne Facer

This book is essential reading for anyone who has an interest in New Zealand’s early history, Unitarianism, trade unionism, worker’s education and the fight for secular education.

In a world where religion is increasingly associated with hatred, bigotry, fanaticism, violence and misogyny, Jellie’s story provides an alternative – a vision splendid – where values rooted in the liberal religious tradition are the ones helpful in promoting social justice, protecting the powerless and reducing social and economic inequality. It is a story we can turn to for inspiration as we continue to work for fairness in society, equality of opportunity, and the enrichment of the human spirit.

Zoom Link

You are invited to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Prophet At The Gate
Time: Aug 20, 2022 17:00 Auckland, Wellington

Join Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87459070550?pwd=whorFjnnkIWg8l0FPoy6_mhTUnj_qR.1
Meeting ID: 874 5907 0550
Passcode: 856115

One tap mobile
+6448860026,,87459070550#,,,,*856115# New Zealand
+6498846780,,87459070550#,,,,*856115# New Zealand

Dial by your location
+64 4 886 0026 New Zealand
+64 9 884 6780 New Zealand
+64 3 659 0603 New Zealand
Meeting ID: 874 5907 0550
Passcode: 856115

Find your local number if dialing in from outside NZ:
https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kWxPSCW1m

Modern Slavery and Worker Exploitation – MBIE consultation

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Update 14/6/22

On 6 June, a small group of 6 PSJ members (Gary Bendall, Henri van Roon, Paul Henriques, Shirin Caldwell, Jonathan Mason and Brenda Bendall) representing the wider Peace & Social Justice Group met on Zoom to go through the MBIE survey, discussing each point, and reaching a consensus answering the survey questions. The completed survey was submitted to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on 6th June on behalf of the Peace and Social Justice Group of the Auckland Unitarian Church.

All members had personal knowledge of situations where Modern Slavery and Worker Exploitation had occurred. The varied work and life experiences of the 6 meant that considered responses were made, and many thanks go to all for their very valuable contributions.


An opportunity to have your say on Modern Slavery and Worker Exploitation as it relates to NZ.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) are seeking feedback on new legislation that aims to achieve freedom, fairness and dignity in the operations and supply chains of entities and to address modern slavery and work exploitation, both in New Zealand and internationally. 

The proposal would create new responsibilities across the operations and supply chains of all types of organisations in New Zealand, with more responsibilities for larger organisations.  Submissions close 7th June 2022. 

The PSJ Group are working towards a collective submission, however you can submit as an individual if you wish. This social action fits well with our UU 7 Principles, so please take this opportunity to have your say.

For more information on how to make a submission, please go to  https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/modern-slavery

If you’re short on time, read the summary of proposals and complete a short survey. It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes and can be anonymous, or you can make a detailed submission at Survey: Legislative options to address modern slavery and worker exploitation

Submissions and survey both close on 7 June 2022 at 5pm. 

Thank You!

Continue reading Modern Slavery and Worker Exploitation – MBIE consultation

Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal

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NZ Red Cross Ukraine Appeal

“People in Ukraine are suffering. More than 11 million people are believed to have fled their homes in Ukraine since the conflict began, according to the United Nations. As well as the 5.3 million who have left for neighbouring countries, and another 6.5 million people are thought to be displaced inside the war-torn country itself.” (BBC News, refer link: How many Ukrainians have fled their homes and where have they gone? – BBC News) These are devastating times for the people in Ukraine.

How can we help?

You can help by supporting the NZ Red Cross Ukraine Appeal through our church Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Campaign. Our church has started a Campaign fund with the Peace and Social Justice Group donating $250 to start it off. You are welcome to add to this fund by donating online to the…

Our PSJ appeal closed Friday 17th June 2022, however you can make a donation directly to the NZ Red Cross “Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal” after that date if you wish.

Thank you 😊

Note, the usual tax relief for donations apply.

Interfaith Celebration of Human Rights Day

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On Wednesday evening, 8 December 2021 at 7.00pm,

Auckland Unitarians Peace and Social Justice Committee are hosting an Interfaith Celebration of Human Rights Day which is held annually on 10 December.

All are welcome and we encourage you to join a Zoom gathering for 60–75 minutes via the Zoom Link below.

Faith representatives include Rev Clay Nelson for Auckland Unitarians, and Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Maori-Bahai, Sikh, Islamic speakers, each of whom will present a five-minute sharing of how their faith expresses its commitment to human rights. The event relates to Article 18 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which begins “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”

Voyager 1 – Earth from beyond Neptune
this pale blue dot is the only home we’ve ever known‘ – Carl Sagan

Chants of Universal Peace

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We would  love you to join us this Saturday evening, 30th October 2021 from 5-6pm for an hour to uplift our spirits through chants of universal peace.

Sing-along from the privacy of your home … multi-cultural, musical, meditations – chants from various wisdom traditions – easy to learn, taught by call and response.

Optional community connection and conversation (6-6:30pm).

Zoom link info: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86017196979?pwd=VUVoUkNubTBBT0laUEFsaTFyOTRmdz09&fbclid=IwAR151NQ3kc8IPsy3PZm9fKO2YjgJhpbg-TQIwhSMwFku2d81gxN8vnfycMw

Meeting ID: 860 1719 6979

Passcode: 216897

Blessings of Peace and Joy to you at this challenging time!

Sally

An outreach of Auckland Unitarians Peace and Social Justice Group

Songs and Chants of Universal Peace — now online – Sunday 26th September 2021, 5:00-6.00PM.

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Songs and chants will be followed by small group sharing breakout rooms.

(But if we are able to meet in the church for our spring dances and community potluck event, this will be 5.00–8.00pm.)

RSVP to Sally Mabelle below to stay posted and for Zoom details. .
RSVP, get more information, or leave a comment below.

Update of fundraiser held in February for the women of Freeset in Kolkata India:

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Follow-up letter from Anthony Watt of Freeset Global on how your generous donations were spent:

“Firstly, thank you for the donation. The money has been moved over and spent. It contributed towards the covid-19 campaign where we provided wages, vaccinations, emergency medical care, education for children missing school and food distribution into our 4 communities, (over 20 tonnes of food!) Thank you for contributing towards this.

Secondly, I am very glad to see the interest you are taking in following this up. It shows a great degree of care.”

Anthony also included a photograph of one of young girls receiving education from Freeset donations.
He comments:-

“She is doing so well in school at the moment. She is smashing all the boys in math, which is unheard of here! So she is a bit of a star.”

“Thanks again for your support Shirin.[and to all those who contributed to the fundraiser] It really does mean a lot.”

West Auckland Dances of Universal Peace – Monday, 30th August, 2021 – Cancelled.

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This evening now cancelled due to Covid.

Come join us for a special evening of dances of universal peace with Sally Mabelle and Matêj Koukl, sufi whirling by Abheer, and the resonant sounds of crystal singing bowls by Katrin Franz.

Ranui Community Centre, 474 Swanson Road

Supported by Auckland Unitarians, Koha appreciated toward hall rental and refreshments.

RSVP to Sally Mabelle – 02102228782, or via the form below.
RSVP, get more information, or leave a comment below.

Quiz on Wheels – Fundraiser for PSJ projects

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Photos from this can be seen on this google slideshow.

On Saturday 7 August Auckland Unitarians will be holding a battle of wits as we gently explore Northcote/Birkenhead. The stakes are high, those in the winning car will win movie tickets!

This is a fun day out for all the family, there are questions to answer and quests to accomplish. Learn some of the history, love stories and and interest spots of one of our fascinating city suburbs. It is highly recommended that each team has at least one member with a phone with access to the internet.

We finish up with a shared afternoon tea chez Rachel and Clay. This is a fundraiser for Peace and Social Justice projects. Suggested entry fee is $10-$20 per adult, depending on what you can afford. Children are free. Winners are determined by wits, not speed! More details later…