A new e-advocacy service on the UCC website now makes it possible for UCC members to advocate on issues of justice and peace with a few easy clicks of a computer mouse.
Known as "one-click activism," the technology has been growing in popularity among many organizations as a way of making it easier for persons to locate and communicate with their elected officials, media outlets, and others. The free service enables users to send pre-written faxes or e-mails to federal and state officials, to contact corporate executives about product boycotts or workers' rights issues, or to locate hundreds of media outlets and send letters to the editor on timely topics. Although pre-written samples will be provided, users will be able to edit and personalize before sending or choose to write on any subject of their choosing.
"UCC Take Action" debuted in early October on www.ucc.org, making the UCC the first U.S. denomination to offer this sophisticated service. To locate it on the website, click on the justice tab, then choose the "Take Action!" link. Or, simply use this direct address: www.UCCTakeAction.org.
"Many people have a real desire to advocate for justice, but can't seem to find the time to actually sit down and write letters about all the many issues that are important to them," says the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, minister for communication and mission education for Justice and Witness Ministries. "UCC Take Action will drastically expand the church's ability to inspire thousands to become witnesses for justice."
Guess says a password-protected "personal action center" allows users to keep track of the numerous action items by indicating "which items you have acted upon and which ones still require your attention." Those who receive the UCC's weekly e-mail action alert will be able to take action by simply clicking on embedded links.
"The system will even remember you so that you won't have to re-enter your contact information every time you send a letter," Guess says. "It doesn't get any easier than that."
The development of "UCC Take Action" was funded in part with a new initiatives grant from the Neighbors in Need Special Mission Offering.
Sandra Sorensen is associate for communications and media advocacy for the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries.