Rebuild the Churches. Black Lives Matter. Go USA.

Written by Elizabeth Nguyen // July 3rd 2015 // Issues and Trends, Mosaic, Social Justice // no comments

Complex_America

This week: black churches burned, our the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association passed an Action of Immediate Witness in support of the Black Lives Matter movement calling for “police reform and prison abolition, which seeks to replace the current prison system with a system that is more just and equitable.” And I wore the flag of the United States of America. As I look out over July 4th, I feel the same discomfort and complexity I’ve always felt about belonging to the red white and blue – this nation where I was born and gives me the privilege of that USA passport; this country that opened its arms to my father when he immigrated…

Cultural Respect

Written by Elizabeth Nguyen // April 28th 2015 // Guides and Tools, Issues and Trends // one comment

Cultural_Respect

Culture Heritage to Share – Not Appropriate Culture is an expression of identity, and Cultural Appropriation is when a peoples’ identity is changed without their consent. Yet sharing cultural experience is a powerful way to build respectful, inclusive, welcoming community. Now more than ever, we can all benefit from some wisdom and resources on how to share culture in accountable, respectful ways. Not sure what the difference is between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange?   Amandla Stenberg explains, “The line between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange is always going to be blurred. But here’s the thing: Appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalizations or stereotypes where it originated, but is deemed as high…

Commit 2 Respond for #ClimateJustice

Written by Bart Frost // April 17th 2015 // Future of Faith, Social Justice // no comments

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What We Will Make of Our Time on Earth During Climate Justice Month we have reveled in the world we live in. We have embraced its warmth, its greenness, its snow, and its sunshine. We have gazed at waterfalls, fjords, icebergs, and countless other phenomena with glee. What a beautiful earth we inhabit! We have also reckoned. Climate change is real. It is happening, and we cannot stop it. Superman will not be using his super lungs to suck up greenhouse gases and expel them into space. The Planet Express crew will not be moving the earth a few millimeters further away from the sun. Acknowledging it is the first step. Then we reconnected. We reached…

Know What They Say About Assumptions?

Written by jennicadavishockett // November 13th 2014 // Issues and Trends // 5 comments

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STORY UPDATED 11/14/14* Last night as I swiped through my Facebook feed I thought I saw that another Unitarian Universalist church had been victim to a hate crime. But I wasn’t in the mood for another thing to be mad/sad about so I pretended like I was impervious to the click bait. In the office this morning (yes that’s right, I get to work at UUA Headquarters for a couple weeks) colleagues were abuzz with mis/information about the incident. I’m sure by now you’ve seen Maybe you haven’t yet seen this article, when I did a search in Google News, it was nowhere to be found. [We’ve verified only one news source published this story…

Watch How Faith Grows in the 21st Century

Written by T. Resnikoff // October 2nd 2014 // Future of Faith, Guides and Tools // no comments

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GA Talks Available on YouTube   Presented by YA@GA, learn about best practices, innovative techniques and successes growing, sustaining and creating vibrant multigenerational, diverse ministry. Modeled after TED talks, GA Talks are an ongoing series of presentations from from invited experts speaking to a given topic or theme. The theme of GA Talks 2014, “Looking Inward, Looking Outward, Looking Forward” explores innovative forms of worship, congregation and spiritual experience.

In the Space Between Spirit and Letter of the Law

Written by Kenny Wiley // September 15th 2014 // Featured Young Adults, Social Justice, Stories and Voices // no comments

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Kenny Wiley, Director of Faith Formation at Prairie Unitarian Universalist Church, Parker, CO, reflects on how the legal reforms of the Civil Rights Act have – and have not – changed American culture, and how Black Americans have had to adapt to change still not made in this post originally appearing in his blog, “A Full Day“. We welcome Kenny as a regular contributor to the Blue Boat! – Ed. How Long is 50 Years? My Civil Rights Trip Through the South June 24, 2014 Kenny Wiley “Darnell! It’s so good to see you, honey. Give me a hug.” My plate of collared greens, cornbread and two kinds of casserole still minutes away, I had…

Opening Our Closets

Written by T. Resnikoff // March 3rd 2014 // Stories and Voices // no comments

S&V_Shine_Forth

Why Wait for Spring to let the light shine? Ash Bechkam reminds us that we all keep truths about ourselves hidden away from others, and that learning to liberate oneself from the fear of those truths being exposed is a key for living authentically, in direct communication with others and without apology for living our truth. Why it matters? Because to Let Love Reach Out, it is good to reach in with love, too. Unitarian Universalism and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) strongly support the “free and responsible search for truth and meaning” – it’s the Fourth Principle of Unitarian Universalism (read all 7 Principles). The Seven Principles informs the work the UUA on issues…

Bias Through Association

Written by T. Resnikoff // February 20th 2014 // Social Justice // no comments

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Implicit Association Tests Reveal Unconscious Biases “It may not be surprising to learn that most people in the United States — 80 percent of whites — harbor a pro-white bias. Perhaps more surprising is that a large minority of blacks — 40 percent — hold a pro-white bias.” (From The Bay State Banner). Researchers at Harvard University‘s Project Implicit have have found that biases come from implicit associations we all hold, and that even when we are intentional in our relations with others our attitudes and behavior are driven by un- or subconcious ideas and associations we hold. Not surprisingly, some classes of people benefit from these biases, whereas others are penalized. (Read how Project…

Reaching Out by Calling In

Written by Jeremie Bateman // February 14th 2014 // 30 Days of Love // no comments

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Day 28: Making the Middle Way Together I was a relatively new employee at the UUA when the Standing on the Side of Love campaign was launched. Over the last 5+ years, I’ve had the opportunity to see the it grow and change and reach out in ways I don’t think people could have imagined. When watching news coverage of rallies and events, I sometimes play “spot the yellow shirt.” Try it some time – it happens more often than you might think. On this fifth annual Standing on the Side of Love Day, I’ve been taking some time to reflect on what I’ve seen and today’s post over at the SSL blog brought something…

The Seeger Saga Continues

Written by Carey McDonald // January 31st 2014 // Social Justice, Stories and Voices // no comments

Pete_Seeger_Saga

The passing of folk music icon Pete Seeger has offered a chance to revisit the themes the 1950’s and ‘60’s when Seeger made his mark on American culture. Practically every news outlet (including this blog!) has paid homage to this remarkable man, and I’ve heard of dozens of UU congregations who are planning to use Seeger in their services. But more than how we honor one man’s legacy, the discussion of Seeger’s passing is a microcosm of cultural and generational perspectives. For lots of us, especially those who identify strongly with the protest ethos of the ‘60’s era counterculture, this is truly a time of personal grief. Seeger’s life was interwoven with Unitarian Universalism, his…