Social Justice has been succinctly defined as right relations between people. At Desert Palm we expand that definition to include the Earth’s eco-systems, affirming that right relations include being in harmony with God’s creation.
Desert Palm has a long history of being out in front on social justice issues and justice is an important value for many of our members. We are an Open and Affirming congregation and have taken stands on same-sex marriage and LGBT Civil Rights in general. We are in favor of humane immigration policies and recently participated in the Border Convergence at the US/Mexico border coordinated by the UCC in conjunction with the School of Americas Watch.
Through our Justice and Witness Committee, we seek to engage systemic injustice and to work for social transformation, reconciliation and a more just world. Social Justice is generally viewed as equitable relationships in which all partners have dignity, value and worth. In an age characterized by a widening gap between the rich and poor, the mass incarceration of people of color (see Michelle Alexander’s, The New Jim Crow), and war without end, the challenges are clear.
We are also in agreement with the majority opinion of the scientific community that the current ecological crisis (characterized by mass extinctions and Global Warming) is the result of human activity. Standing in solidarity with Ethicists like Larry Rasmussen and Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, we realize we cannot speak of justice and inclusion apart from seeking eco-justice and a more sustainable way of being in the world that seeks to protect the planet and all its creatures and ecosystems.
Our activism is driven by a vision of peace and justice in which the integrity and dignity of all people and the Earth’s ecosystems are protected and sustained, a world in which all sentient beings are offered a place at the table. Our Mission Imperatives focus on children and their protection and support. We realize that to care for our children and their children on into the future, we must work for a sustainable system that offers a viable future for all.