Justice for Women

The United Church of Christ has been a leader among churches on issues of justice related to women. It’s in our DNA, you might say.

Yes, we were the first Christian denomination to ordain a woman when Antoinette Brown was ordained in 1853. But even before then, women who were members of our congregations lived their faith through advocacy to end the practice of slavery in the United States, to establish homes for poor women, and support educational opportunities for women. Later, they were active in securing women’s right to vote and to work for fair wages.

From the mid-1900’s to the present day, the UCC has continued this legacy through its advocacy for reproductive justice for all women, its call to end violence against women, its critical work on gender inclusive language as an issue of justice for all humankind, and its insistence on connecting the realities of sexism and racism. And more.

This work is local and global, personal and community-wide. It comes from a faith which affirms the full personhood of women as created in the image of God and included in the ministry of Jesus as partners, disciples and bearers of the Good News.

#MeToo: Resources on Sexual Abuse and Harassment

A Pastoral Letter on Sexual Misconduct – February 28, 2018
United Church of Christ leadership, in a pastoral letter on sexual misconduct, pledge to provide safe space for all, where sexual harassment, abuse, or misconduct is not tolerated. Read more.

#MeToo and #TimesUP: More than Harassment – March 7, 2018

#MeToo, says Mary Magdalene: Bible Study and Service Prayers for Women’s Week – March 4-10, 2018
This year you are invited into an exploration based on More Bad Girls of the Bible by the Rev. Barbara Essex and inspired by women’s experience in the current media, especially women involved in campaigns for justice for women, such as #MeToo, and #TimesUp. Check out our Women’s Week resources.

Speak Out on Sunday Morning

Break the Silence Sunday
Break the Silence Sunday is a time for the church to learn together about the realities of rape and sexual violence; about ways to create a community where survivors can share their stories and receive support, hope, and love; and to prayerfully consider ways in which they can be advocates for change in their communities, and around the world. Learn more and download resources.

Speak Out Sunday
As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Speak Out Sabbath is an interfaith advocacy weekend coordinated by the We Will Speak Out Coalition. Clergy are encouraged to engage in speaking out against sexual and gender-based violence in an intentional and faithful way during worship with their congregations. Worship resources, sermon starters, litanies, and children’s resources are being updated and added daily. Learn more.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness

Our religious heritage compels and guides us in creating a safe environment where people can come to understand and respond to the challenges facing them as sexual beings.

Here are some resources geared toward teens for health sexuality education and anti-violence awareness and training.”

Our Whole Lives – Resources for Grades 7-9
Check out the second edition of the UCC/UUA sexuality education program Our Whole Lives geared toward youth in grades 7 to 9. The second edition introduces new content, activities, perspectives, language, and resources that will help today’s young teens make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior by providing accurate, age-appropriate information. New topics in the second edition include

  • Bullying and bystander responsibilities;
  • Sexuality, social media, and the Internet;
  • Body image; consent education; and communicating with a sexual partner.

Amy Johnson, our UCC Our Whole Lives coordinator, has written several helpful articles on teen dating violience:

Resources from Partners

  • Break the Cycle has some excellent resources for empowering youth to end DV. Their mission is to inspire and support young people to build healthy relationships and create a culture without abuse.
  • Love Is Respect – Teens can text “LOVEIS” to 22522 or call 1-866-331-9474 to chat with a trained peer advocate and get more info.

Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court

An Update After the Hobby Lobby Decision: What It Means and Some Next Steps
Recently the Supreme Court handed down a decision with startling implications for individuals’ religious liberty and women’s access to contraceptive coverage. Find out what the decision means, and what UCC advocates are trying to do about it.

Health Equity, Racial Justice, and the Supreme Court Decision on Contraception
The Supreme Court decision giving some corporations the right to deny coverage of certain types of contraception to their employees based on religious freedom will have a great impact on women of color.  Although, the ruling does not single out women of color, our political and economic realities tell us that women of color often bear the brunt of the negative impacts of restrictions on women’s health.

More Resources