Each year the children of First Parish in Cambridge vote on a local nonprofit organization to partner with. Our children learn compassion and generosity through these special partnerships. We learn about each Justice Partner’s work in the community, often through visiting speakers, then join them in service projects and fundraising over the course of the year. Past Justice Partners have included The Food Project, Tuesday Meals, Black Lives Matter, and Centro Presente. In 2016-17, our children raised hundreds of dollars, baked pies, created table centerpieces, read justice stories to younger children, and leafleted the congregation to teach about bias.
Each September, the Religious Education Council decides on a short list of appropriate community partners. In October, children and youth hear about the possibilities and choose their Justice Partner for the year. Then they learn more in a special session where they can plan projects for the coming year. Each December, the Justice Partner receives the Shared Offering from the congregation. In spring, our children carry out their projects, then in May and June they create display boards and share about their year-long partner during worship.