we light this chalice as a beacon
UUs are being touted as a shining example of 21st century social organizing, according to Kim Bobo's article in religion dispatches online magazine.
"Although most faith bodies and denominations have very strong statements on immigration reform, those same denominations did not activate people. With one glaring exception—the Unitarian Universalist Association," writes Bobo.
In an in-depth look at the recent protest in Arizona, she writes, "Let’s look at what the UUA did and analyze what lessons others in the faith community, particularly in judicatory leadership, might learn from the UUA’s example." Bobo lists seven components:
1) Engage leadership
2) Link to principles and history
3) Assign staff and resources for planning
4) Coordinate with local coalitions
5) Be visual
6) Use social media
7) Ask for personal engagement and sacrifice
It is a strength of our liberal heritage that we question and challenge our beliefs and actions. It is good that we debate our decisions--and it is good to act, especially when it helps the people who asked for our support.
It doesn't hurt that it improves our visibility and respect within the progressive community:
"Given the significance of the immigration crisis, the religious community’s values around welcoming immigrants and the substantial role immigrants play in congregations throughout the nation, one would expect that denominations would be leading in every action around the nation. Unfortunately, the formal denominational leadership has not played the role it could and should. Luckily, the Unitarian Universalist Association offered an example in Arizona of what can and should occur. Let’s hope others will 'go and do likewise.'”