Good Neighbor Offerings
Each month we share our offerings from the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. worship services with local and national non-profit organizations serving the community, particularly those serving people in need. A different group is selected each month to receive these much needed funds, such as the Read Aloud Volunteer Program, where UUCB members read to children in San Pablo and Richmond schools, and Brighter Beginnings, supporting low income infants and their families in getting the best start in life.
For more information, or to suggest a new Good Neighbor organization, please contact the church office.
Since 2011, through the generosity of UUCB members, friends, and Sunday vistors, over $40,000 has been donated to more than 25 organizations.
Good Neighbors of the Month
The Mosaic Project®, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, works toward a peaceful future by uniting children of diverse backgrounds, providing them with essential community building skills, and empowering them to become peacemakers.
Our principal program is our unique Outdoor School, which brings together 4th and 5th grade classes from schools that differ markedly in socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic make-up. Together, through our evidence-based, experiential social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, our students build their capacity for empathy and resilience. Our complementary work with youth and adults supports our youngest peacemakers while also enabling us to reach wider communities through schools, community-based organizations, and the workplace.
RYSE! Center - RYSE was born out of a youth organizing movement initiated in 2000 in response to a string of homicides amongst youth near Richmond High School that galvanized students to take action to address the violence and lack of safety at school and in the community. Students organized vigils and community forums with over 1,500 youth and community members. They also met and worked with local officials and stakeholders on a comprehensive assessment of youth-identified priorities and solutions, culminating in the RYSE Youth Center (RYSE), which opened its doors on October 18, 2008.More ...
CCISCO (Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Organization)
CCISCO helps everyday people win extraordinary victories by providing a vehicle for them to speak, act and engage in the public arena. We believe in the power of relationships and that by acting together on our common values, we can imagine and create a more just, equitable and inclusive world. CCISCO is committed to building civic engagement and increasing public participation by those most affected by injustice in Contra Costa County. We are a multi-racial, multi-generational, interfaith federation of 20 member institutions representing 38,000 families across our region.More ...
Winter Nights Shelter - The Winter Nights Program provides a clean, safe, and warm facility at night and a daytime services center during winter for homeless families with children. The program will serve up to 30 persons at any given time. Congregations throughout central and east Contra Costa provide space, meals, and volunteers. Bedding will be provided, and professional staff will supervise the shelter 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Rubicon Bakery - Started in 1993, Rubicon was created as a social enterprise to help rebuild lives by employing, training, and supporting people who need a second chance. Many long-term employees came to Rubicon from life on the streets, from prisons or with substance abuse problems. They have turned their lives around. Rubicon offers our employees training, fair wages, health insurance, and most importantly a way to get their lives back on track. That’s why we say, “Treat Yourself, Transform Lives.More ...
Members of the congregation continue to work actively with our community-organizing partners at Contra Costa Interfaith Serving Community Organization (CCISCO). Currently, we are focusing on two main projects: “Ceasefire” and the proposed University of California campus to be built in Richmond. A number of us arrive at a different Richmond church each Friday night for a “Ceasefire” walk in the neighborhood. Hoping to curb gun violence, we carry a message of “alive and free to the community.”
If you are interested in participating in these walks, contact Rev. Craig Scott.
A coalition of neighborhood groups, trade unions, etc., has been involved in pressuring UC to include protections for local residents in its planning for the Richmond campus, such as local and union hiring, local business opportunities, preventing housing displacement, and helping to enrich Richmond schools.
Coming up soon will be implementation of President Obama’s executive plan to enable immigrant families to attain nondeportable status despite their lack of official documentation. Workshops will be organized to assist with the application process. This will be an excellent opportunity for UUCB members to assist the local immigrant communities. Stay tuned for more information.
Members of UUCB were privileged to be part of a protest march and "die-in" in Berkeley on Sunday, December 14, marking "Black Lives Matter" Sunday. It was a beautiful opportunity for clergy and laity alike from different faith traditions to march together in solidarity. something I have long dreamed about. It seems imperative at this crucial time that people of faith speak out with a strong moral voice.
The event was under African-American leadership, beginning with a rousing sermon at the Way Christian Center, led by Rev. Michael McBride. Rev. McBride is also the national director of the Lifelines to Healing Network of the PICO (the parent organization of CCISCO). He has been active in actions around the country beginning with the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Around 300 or so protesters marched from First Congregational Church in Berkeley to the Way, chanting and singing: "Hands up, Don't shoot," "No Justice, no Peace," and so on. The Berkeley police kept their distance and provided an escort as we marched through city streets.
In front of the Way, we laid down in the street in a symbolic "die-in" lasting 11 minutes to mark the 11 times that Eric Garner in New York City said "I can't breathe," before he died after having been choked and held on the ground by several police officers.
UUCB members have been busy working on social justice projects with CCISCO. Congregants played an active role in getting out the vote in West Contra Costa County. Proposition 47, which we were supporting, was passed overwhelmingly in California. Although we do not support candidates, of course, it is good to note that big money went down to defeat in Richmond, where Chevron spent $3 million to change the political climate yet was resoundingly defeated.
We continue our work with the Richmond Ceasefire program, walking our Friday night walks in Richmond neighborhoods and participating in “call-ins” of at-risk youth.
Congregants have also been active in community activity to ensure that jobs, business opportunities, and educational support will available to Richmond residents as the Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay progresses. The proposed campus was recently analyzed in a thorough study entitled “Anchor Richmond.” To view the study and a video of the press conference where it was shown—in which UUCBers participated—visit http://diversity.berkeley.edu/anchor-richmond.
VERY IMPORTANT – Please plan to attend our “Justice Summit” at UUCB on December 6, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. We hope to have all of our social justice groups present to discuss how better to coordinate our efforts and to communicate about them within the congregation. All are welcome.
Our Good Neighbor organizations include:
Alameda County Child Abuse Prevention
Alameda County Community Food Bank
Albany Community Foundation
Bay Area Women Against Rape
Berkeley Emergency Food Pantry
Berkeley Food & Housing Project
Berkeley Women's Daytime Drop-in Center
Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization (CCISCO)
Child Abuse Prevention Council-Contra Costa
Community Alliance for Learning
Contra Costa County Winter Nights Shelter
Dorothy Day House
East Bay Agency for Children
East Bay Sanctuary Covenant
Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano
Greater Richmond Interfaith Project
Green For All
Lavendar Seniors of the East Bay
Meadville Lombard Theological School
Richmond Emergency Food Pantry
STAND! For Families Free of Violence
Starr King School for the Ministry
Sustainable Contra Costa
Ujima Family Recovery Services
Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of California
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Transgender Law Center
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