A Both/And Kind of Love

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // July 9th 2015 // Issues and Trends, UUA // no comments

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I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again: Unitarian Universalism is a both/and faith. Both/and can be hard. It’s difficult to feel two emotions at once, to hold two positions at once, to affirm multiple realities at once. But if anyone can do it, I believe that UUs can. Friday June 26th 2015 was surely a both/and day. It was both the day that the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) guaranteed the rights of same-sex couples to have their marriages legally recognized in all fifty states and it was the day of Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s funeral. A day of celebration and of mourning. That day I woke up to a text from my UU…

God is Weeping, Screaming, Holding, Calling

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // June 18th 2015 // Issues and Trends, UUA // 2 comments

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Yesterday evening a group of people gathered for prayer and Bible study at an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. These people, part of an historical African-American church in a historic African-American denomination gathered to worship an embodied God who knew suffering. Gathered to worship a divine human who is said to have called out in his anguish “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This line, in the Gospel of Matthew comes from Psalm 22, a psalm of lament that asks “Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” There have been so many cries of anguish this year, this decade, this century,…

Deeply Religious But Not Church-y

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // June 12th 2015 // Future of Faith, Guides and Tools // no comments

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Here is Where to Go How can one initiative simultaneously support people who want a deeply religious experience and also support folks who want nothing to do with organized religion? Oddly enough, I believe that staff at the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) are doing just that. The framework of the UUA’s new emerging ministries initiative is simultaneously more religious and less church-y than previous incarnations of support for emerging congregations. With a stronger focus on covenant, mission and spiritual connection and less emphasis on polity and by-laws, we are encouraging new groups to really get religion before getting caught up in structure. Yet, as we broaden the lanes of our path to include non-congregational forms of ministry…

A Prayer for Freddie Gray

Written by Elizabeth Nguyen // April 30th 2015 // Future of Faith, Mosaic, Stories and Voices // no comments

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  Prayer Because the world cracks open and here we are: For the 900 lives lost to the migration injustice – mothers, fathers, parents, children, trying to reach Europe by boat. For the over 4,000 lives lost to earthquakes in Nepal and South Asia. For the family and community of Rekia Boyd, an unarmed black woman shot in the back of her head by police 2012. For the officer who killed her and was cleared of wrongdoing. For Freddie Gray, an unarmed black man who died in police custody last Sunday. For his family, friends and community. For Baltimore and the protesters who call for justice. Help us to know that no matter our losses,…

The Symptom is Not the Problem

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // April 28th 2015 // Issues and Trends, Social Justice, Stories and Voices // no comments

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It is Overtime to Shift the Paradigm An acquaintance of mine named Molli King is a teacher and yesterday she posted an essay she wrote for an education blog about a school in New York City called Success Academy that had recently been profiled in the New York Times. In her essay she told a story, one that I remember her sharing in person when she still worked at Success Academy, and this story has been rattling around in my brain today. The story is found in her blogpost and I will also recount it here in Ms. King’s words: But of all of the awful stories from my time at Success, none will top the…

The Only Way Out is Through

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // April 1st 2015 // Featured Young Adults, Future of Faith, Stories and Voices // no comments

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Our Self-Wrought Epic Disaster “Would you stop yelling about how we’re all screwed?” my supervisor politely asked. Oh. Right. Not exactly the type of thing to yell when you work in an open office like I do at the Unitarian Universalist Association. Especially when perhaps you are using slightly less polite language than “screwed.” We were talking about climate change, of course in light of the new UU-led coalition effort Commit2Respond. And we are screwed. However you express it, we humans are really in trouble. Other life forms on this planet are really in trouble. And as I feel the first flutters of movement from the tiny human-in-progress I’m harboring in my uterus, I wonder…

Our Sankofa Moment

Written by T. Resnikoff // February 12th 2015 // Events and Opportunities, Issues and Trends, Mosaic // no comments

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Unitarian Universalism Calls On Your Continuing Presence We share this letter about Selma and Unitarian Universalism as a voice for justice on Standing on the Side of Love. – Ed. Today, our nation again stands on the precipice of a significant movement for racial equity that calls to Unitarian Universalists to respond as people of faith anchored in the affirmation of the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We – five women of color who serve our Unitarian Universalist faith through the Unitarian Universalist Association – write this letter to express our hopes for the participation of Unitarian Universalists with regard to a Sankofa moment presented to us by the 50th anniversary commemoration of…

Can We Really Reclaim Martin Luther King?

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // January 23rd 2015 // Social Justice, Stories and Voices // 2 comments

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What is “Unwise and Untimely”? The activists of #blacklivesmatter asked us this year to #ReclaimMLK (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) as we celebrated his life and legacy the Monday after his birthday. When I was six years old I marched in my first Martin Luther King Day parade and of course I was out there with fellow Unitarian Universalists from the Universalist Unitarian Church of Peoria, where my family first made our spiritual home. I don’t remember that march nor what I believed I was marching for, but I’m sure it was informed by my church and my family and our general commitment to equality. I vaguely recall learning about Martin Luther King in elementary…

What’s the Deal with “becoming”?

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // January 15th 2015 // Events and Opportunities, Featured Young Adults, Future of Faith, Guides and Tools // 2 comments

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Your “becoming” is coming   “becoming: A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood” is hot off the press and boy is it ever HOT! When we started promoting this book last week we had no idea just how quickly it would become so popular. We knew this collection of reflection and essays spoke to young adults, but we didn’t expect so many young adults would be so eager to hear! We weren’t caught unware, but turns out we’ve been caught short…   Now we are grappling with a very, very enviable problem. The first amazing part of our enviable problem is that generous donors, John F. and Susan B. Smith, funded this project – including printing…

Adulthood – Spiritually Guided

Written by Kayla Parker // January 6th 2015 // Events and Opportunities, Featured Young Adults, Guides and Tools, young adults // 4 comments

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Still – and Always – Becoming by Kayla Parker Becoming: A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood was created to be a consistent companion for us in the times when we need spiritual accompaniment. Whether in solitary reflection or group worship, this little book is here to be companion, guide and hard surface to lean or dance on. Becoming was created with the constant transition of young adults in mind – and the awareness that change is a constant for adults of all ages. I compiled the readings and reflections as a Unitarian Universalist (UU) young adult myself, and it includes words from UUs and non-UUs of the past and present, including personal reflections from other…