Social Justice at MVUC
Mount Vernon Unitarian Church has a rich history of working for social justice, which remains vibrant today. We meet regularly to sustain many longstanding justice programs, collaborate with neighborhood groups, reach out to our larger world through Partner Churches, and take part in special one-time events as needs arise.
For example, MVUC volunteers support climate action, anti-racism, refugee response, voter registration drives, and LGBTQ advocacy. We are an active member of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE).
Our property has been recognized by the UUA as a Green Sanctuary, indicating our commitment to preserving the environment.
Some of our collaborating organizations are interfaith, while others are alliances with other Unitarian Universalist congregations. The organizations with which we are affiliated are described in Social Justice in Our Larger World.
In addition to the work mentioned above, MVUC is active in the following areas, locally:
MVUC Task Force for Social Action on Route One
We are dedicated to helping the unhoused and those living in poverty in the Route 1 corridor through our Route 1 Task Force. The Mount Vernon Unitarian Church Task Force for Social Action on Route 1 reaches out and supports community empowerment programs for the unhoused and marginalized populations on Richmond Highway (Route 1), particularly (but not exclusively) programs undertaken by United Community, Ventures in Community (VIC), New Hope Housing, and Habitat for Humanity.
Help the Unhoused – Prevent Hypothermia – VIC HOP
Mount Vernon Unitarian Church is a member of Ventures in Community and participates in their projects to help the unhoused with food and shelter. We collect food throughout the year and take it regularly to United Community for distribution. We provide food about six times a year for the shelters in Alexandria. We also help provide Rising Hope, United Community, and the Kennedy Shelter with toiletries, sheets, towels, coats, hats, gloves, and school supplies.
On Thursday nights December through March we prepare dinner and provide overnight supervision at Rising Hope United Methodist Church. Our church has participated since 2006 in this project (Ventures in Community Hypothermia Outreach Project – VIC HOP) sponsored by Ventures in Community, a group of neighborhood churches, intended to prevent hypothermia.
MVUC completed 10 years of participation in this project in 2022 and looks forward to 10 more!
Our seventh UU Principle challenges us to show “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” In an effort to live this principle, MVUC has joined the Adopt-a-Highway project and has adopted Sherwood Hall Lane. We endeavor to conduct these on Saturday mornings four times a year. This is a fun and very worthwhile project. We invite young and old to join us. RE families, young adults, young at heart; we can all do our part.
MVUC Gun Violence Prevention Task Force
MVUC adopted a Statement of Conscience on Gun Legislation in 2015.
Prior to the pandemic, members of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force would regularly participate in a vigil in front of the headquarters of the National Rifle Association at 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, Virginia, on the 14th of every month. Those vigils commemorated December 14, 2012, when the Sandy Hook massacre took place in Newtown, Connecticut. MVUC has also regularly participated in a statewide lobby day in Richmond for gun violence prevention on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in January of each year.