One of the charges of Immanuel’s Social Action and Mission Committee is to study public issues and make recommendations for advocacy actions. In this spirit, the Pettengill working group, open to all Immanuel members and friends, met periodically in 2016 to discuss which issues should have priority in our advocacy work. With an overall priority of working on racial justice, one of the issues that emerged most strongly was the proposed $15/hour minimum wage for Connecticut. This issue was carried forward, not only to the Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Conference, where it was supported, but also to the State Legislature.  Nearly 500 signatures were gathered among the Hartford UCC churches and presented to leaders at the Capitol, where a bill has been introduced. SAMC members and others continue to follow and advocate for this and other issues in 2017.

The late Dan Pettengill, a long time Immanuel member, is still remembered for regularly calling on members to sign petitions and otherwise engage in advocacy for just public policies. His commitment to Social Action and Mission at Immanuel lives on through a generous bequest generating annual funds for Immanuel Congregational Church mission activities.

To honor Dan’s commitment and to keep alive his steadfast advocacy for just public policy issues, the Social Action and Mission Committee established the Pettengill Speaker Series to bring resource people on important social justice issues to Immanuel on a regular basis.

Current issues that are the focus of speakers and follow up activities include Connecticut's Second Chance Initiative, Teacher Diversity, Environmental Justice and Justice in Education Funding. Most recently, petitions were generated in support of the Second Chance Initiative as well as in opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline, in addition to the proposed $15/hour minimum wage, with new issues emerging regularly.

For more information contact Social Action and Mission Committee members.

 

Environmental Concerns

An active group of Immanuel members continues a multi-faceted effort to foster environmental stewardship in our individual lives, in the operations of our church and in the wider world. Efforts range from working to improve our Tier I Green House of Worship status to Tier II, to active participation in the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network (IREJN), including helping plan and fund their annaul Climate Stewardship Summit.

For more information, contact Immanuel members Karim Ahmed and Dorothy Lovett Buckley.