(Louis Goseland has been a familiar figure around First UU for the past few years. He is usually in a back row during the service. Lately he’s been leaving during the closing hymn so that he can meet with the other social justice activists in the congregation. They meet every Sunday, except when a church-wide meeting is scheduled.)
I have been attending the church for around 3 or 4 years, and have been a member for about two years. I am glad to be a part of this congregation and I’m happy to have the opportunity to help organize our social action committee.
I found out about the church around 5 years ago when the congregation granted Sunflower Community Action with the James Reeb award. That same year Rev. Carter joined SCA in traveling to Washington DC to engage in direct action aimed at the powers that be as part of the annual National People’s Action conference and mobilization. I started attending the church after moving back to Wichita from a brief stay in Lawrence. I recognized a lot of familiar faces in the congregation that I had known through my experiences in organizing. I felt right at home, and after a trial run of more than a year, I became a member. I think that this community has great potential to channel positive work towards social action and I’m eager to be a part of it.
“It was the social action that invited me into the church. It was the principles and beliefs that made me a member.”
I have been involved in community organizing efforts for the past 10 years, first as a board member and activist with the South Central Kansas Peace and Social Justice Center, then as a grassroots youth leader with Students United/Hope Street Youth Development, and I’ve spent the past >7 years as a community organizer for Sunflower Community Action. I am currently SCA’s campaign director, and I’m also involved with the creation of a sister organization, Kansas People’s Action.
Throughout the years I have developed skills in campaign development, strategic planning, training, leadership development, and grassroots fundraising. I have organized in multiple issue areas over the years including anti-militarism, neighborhood improvement, increased consumer protection, child welfare reform, and civic engagement. I am currently the organizer for the KanVote campaign for the restoration of voter rights, and I direct a team of organizers engaged in campaigns for immigrant and worker rights. I look forward to putting these skills to use, and to learn more in my service to the congregation.
The Social Action Committee meets most Sundays after service. If you are interested in participating, contact me at 316-204-4315.Louis Goseland