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All Souls Community Church Forum: Ethical Consumerism

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All Souls Community Church of West Michigan is a local Unitarian Universalist congregation. As Unitarian Universalist, we hold to certain core principles such as the inherent worth and dignity of every person and, in our human relations we should encourage justice, equity and compassion. We also feel that we have a duty to act as responsible stewards of the Earth’s limited resources.
 One way the local congregation at All Souls fulfills this mission is though our Community Forums; a series of presentations focused on social justice issues. We offer these presentations, not only to the benefit of our local membership, but just as important, we hope to the benefit of the greater West Michigan community at large.
The focus of this year’s Community Forum is Ethical Consumerism – how the purchasing decisions we make as consumers can have effects both locally and throughout the world. If we are so motivated, and of course adequately informed, we can make choices that encourage justice, equity, and compassion and support the inherent worth and dignity of all people. 
In the first session on Nov 1, our guest, Trillium Farms will discuss Community Supported Agriculture or CSAs, where farmers, working within a cooperative, deliver locally grown produce direct to the consumer.
Coming up on Nov 8th we have a representative from Local First. You may have seen the Local First sign, pasted on the windows of many locally owned and operated businesses. Local First is an advocate for these local-based, typically small businesses. In this session, we hope to learn how purchasing from a small, local business, first makes good business sense for all of us in Western Michigan, but also supports our core principles.
Then on Nov 15th, the owner of Clothing Matters, a local retailer who specializes in what she calls Compassionate Commerce, commonly known as Fair Trade, will discuss how we here, in our purchasing decisions can have major impacts in the lives of others throughout the world. If we are uninformed, we can inadvertently cause much pain and suffering in third world countries where many of our consumer products originate. But the informed consumer can make a positive difference in the lives of these people.
These sessions are being held at Congregation Ahavas Israel at 2727 Michigan Ave. The sessions are Sunday mornings from 10am to 10:45am. It is important to understand that the purpose of these sessions is to educate the people of West Michigan on this important social justice issue. The 10:45 end time is designed to allow visitors to still make the regular services at any nearby house of worship. However, we do welcome visitors to join us after the session in our regular Sunday worship service where you will find openness to a broad spectrum of beliefs, and even non-belief. But more important you will find a community that strongly believes in the value of all souls.
For further information about All Souls Community Church and the Community Forum, visit our website at  You can also find us on Facebank.

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