Acting for Justice Ministries

The Peace Church community has a vital commitment to working for justice. There are various teams working in a number of different areas, and these teams work together so that there is more collaboration in our efforts. We meet as the hub of a wheel that is moving into the world and acting for justice.

The following efforts represent the spokes of the wheel that are tied into the core of our values as a Christian community as well connecting us to efforts in healing and repairing God’s world.

Justice Ministry Teams and Opportunities

The following efforts represent the spokes of the wheel that are tied into the core of our values as a Christian community as well connecting us to efforts in healing and repairing God’s world.

Dismantling Racism

The Dismantling Racism team gathers monthly for discussion and education about racial justice. In addition to our own learning, we plan events for the congregation that increase awareness of white privilege and empower members to support racial justice in the Twin Ports communities. We foster our congregation’s relationships with organizations led by Duluth’s BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) community.

You are invited to meet with our team. We usually meet the third Thursday of the month at 3:30p.m. in person or on Zoom. We partner with St. Mark AME and Duluth Branch NAACP for MLK Day events. We provide ongoing support of the Rev. Arthur Foy Scholarship for students of color (rev-arthur-foy-scholarship). The team worked with Duluth’s Indigenous leaders on a community yurt project and provided our congregation with forums on the Doctrine of Discovery. In 2020, Peace members read A Good Time for Telling the Truth and in March of 2022, John Lewis’ book, March Book One.

If you are curious about this work or seeking answers yourself about dismantling racism, please join us. For more information, contact the church office (218-724-3637) or any of the pastoral team.

Dismantling Racism Team’s Mission Statement

The Dismantling Racism Team of Peace United Church of Christ seeks:

  • To encourage, strengthen and make visible the high priority on social justice in all aspects of the congregational life of Peace UCC.
  • To offer educational opportunities that further our understanding of white privilege and systemic racism, throughout Peace UCC and in the wider community.
  • To foster support for issues and events that are especially important to, or particularly impact, communities of color; when needed and requested, to offer leadership
  • To foster relationships between Peace UCC and communities of color in Duluth, especially, but not limited to, collaboration with St. Mark AME Church.
  • To make Peace UCC’s resources available to the wider community for the work of confronting racism and advocating for racial equality.
  •  To collaborate with other congregations/communities of faith and organizations to more effectively address issues of racism.

Adopted November 2018

Climate Justice Team

Our Climate Justice Team (formerly FEET–Food, Energy and Environment Team) works in many different ways to honor the gift of creation. The Peace garden team raised over 300 pounds of vegetables in our backyard for the CHUM food shelf. Through the efforts of Denise Perry and our property team we became recognized as an Energy Star Building. We continue to work on ways to make our church more efficient. We also work as partners with Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light and Bag It Duluth. As Bill Mittlefehldt of the team writes, “Challenges are growing. Hope is our most renewable energy.”

Migrant Justice Team

In September 2017, the congregation of Peace UCC voted overwhelmingly to become a Sanctuary Congregation. This designates our church building as a place where undocumented immigrants in immediate danger of deportation can take refuge while their immigration status is resolved. Read More
Afghan Resettlement: Our congregation along with a community circle of support is currently working on efforts to learn more about ways to welcome and support Afghan refugees in the Twin Ports area. We recently had three adult forums that address this topic. The recordings of these forums can be found below.
Sunday, February 6 Adult Forum: click here for the recording of this adult forum

Sunday, February 13 Adult Forum: click here for the recording of this adult forum

Sunday, February 27 Adult Forum: click here for the recording of this adult forum

Rev. Arthur Foy Scholarship for High School Seniors

In 2004 Reverend Arthur Foy III died in a tragic car accident. In an effort to continue the important work he did here in Duluth where he served as pastor of St. Mark AME church, a scholarship fund was established in his name for students of color. Reverend Foy saw education as a crucial step out of poverty and worked hard to make it more accessible for all. Each year the Foy Scholarship Fund awards $1000 to at least one student of color from our community to continue his/her education in a post-high school institution.

Reverend Foy’s vision of academic success for all youth stemmed from his belief that it’s not where you’re from, but where you’re going in life that’s important. Peace Church and St. Mark AME work together to keep this scholarship going. An annual celebration is held at St. Mark AME each June to award the scholarship.

Open and Affirming Team

Our congregation continues to be open and affirming of our members and friends who identify as LGBTQ. This includes ongoing educational efforts in the congregation and support around issues that arise. We have been very active in the anti-bullying efforts especially for LGBTQ youth. Ministerial Staff provides pre-marital counseling and weddings for EVERYONE. We also have a support group at church for Transgender elders.

Beyond Violence Team

Many members of Peace Church, especially Joan Peterson, who is a leader with the Northland Brady/Protect Minnesota chapter, have worked hard on the issues of gun safety. The Beyond Violence team will address gun safety reform measures as they are proposed and promote ways for families to be safe from gun violence. In addition the team will study and promote non violent approaches to personal relationships and policies at all levels of government. We have repeatedly asked legislators to pass universal background checks, held many vigils following acts of gun violence and worked on the ASK Campaign, which encourages parents to ask if there is a gun in the home before their children play at another person’s home. We also declared Peace Church a gun free zone, no weapons are allowed on our property.

Voices for Justice

Peace Church has a vital commitment to working for justice. We are energized and heartened by hearing each other’s stories. Here are brief stories from members of our community to help us learn from each other while we expand our visions and hopes. Voices for Justice Archive

Jubilee Fund

The Jubilee Fund was established in 2009 as a way to support efforts to build the beloved community. Read more

Acting for Justice Opportunities

Besides joining a team, there are various opportunities for getting involved in the community. For more information on getting started with one of these, please contact the church office at office@peaceucc.org or 218.724.3637.

  • Damiano Center Soup Kitchen: Prepare and serve food the second Sunday of the month. Shifts at 1:30 or 4:30 about 3 times per year. See Schedule.
  • Loaves and Fishes/Dorothy Day House: Prepare and deliver a meal for 12 to 15 people on a Monday evening about 3 times per year. See Schedule.
  • Thursday Evening meal for CHUM: Donate food, and/or help prepare and/or serve a meal the 3rd Thursday of the month. Food prepared and sandwiches made in the Peace kitchen during the afternoon, & served at CHUM from 4-6pm. (An email is sent to the list the week of the dinner, and you can respond if you can help out in any way—donating food, making sandwiches, or serving at CHUM.)
  • Wednesday morning breakfast: Help to prepare pancakes and other food every other Wednesday at the CHUM Drop In Center at 9am.
  • Community Garden: Help raise vegetables for CHUM in garden behind Peace.
  • Habitat for Humanity “Brush with Kindness:” One day during the summer to rehabilitate a house for someone needing help.
  • Provide rides for people needing transportation to church.