Today is Day 29 of the Thirty Days of Love. Today’s action is to share photos and stories from your Thirty Days events, and make a resolution to stand on the side of love for the rest of the year. Click here for resources, family actions, and more!
- On Day 14, we asked you to sign-up to help us send messages of love to those affected by acts of violence. Over 119 of you registered, and we will give you another chance to join in next week when we announce the winning name for our response team.
- During Day 19, Ravi Ragbir shared his personal immigration story, and asked that we send messages to Congress asking for immigration reform that keeps families together. Over 1,156 messages were sent to Congress sharing your concerns!
- Christina Warner, from Shoulder-to-Shoulder, invited us to join her in a webinar learning how to respond to anti-Muslim bigotry on Thursday, Feb. 28. You can still sign-up here.
At our Standing on the Side of Love worship service, my own congregation, First Parish Cambridge, will present a Courageous Love Award to Tina Chery. Tina founded Mothers for Peace and the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Boston. After losing her son Louis to gun violence, Tina has dedicated her life to non-violence and is an inspiration to our community. We are also reading The New Jim Crow and our congregation is thinking deeply about how to respond to mass incarceration. We are planning a program at our church with interfaith and community activists to explore how to address this issue in Massachusetts.
I plan on standing on the side of love for the rest of the year, and beyond! What is your resolution to continue standing on the side of love in the next year? Click here to share it with us.
Also, please forward this message to your congregation, your friends, and community. We’ve grown our vibrant online community to over 30,000 people. Let’s continue to grow. Folks can use this link to sign-up for our email list.
Will you continue to stand with me?
Standing on the Side of Love Lead Organizer
Member, First Parish Cambridge Unitarian Universalist
PS: Don’t forget to join us for our Thirty Days of Love online worship service! Services will be held on Sunday, February 17 at 8:00pm ET and Monday, February 18 at 9:00am and 1:30pm ET at http://www.livestream.com/questformeaning. Click here to RSVP and invite your friends.More >
Today is Day 28 of the Thirty Days of Love. Today’s action is to get artsy! Share artwork for the Standing on the Side of Love mural, or send us art in whatever form moves you the most—be it poetry, music, dance, video, etc. Click here more resources and inspiration to get you started!
We are a diverse congregation, and we celebrate our differences, but we all agree to stand on the side of love. We do that through a common denominator of creativity. Hearing from all the messengers throughout the Thirty Days of Love really inspired us, so we wanted to come up with a way to give back and share OUR love. We held several events to come together and make love art in our community, and then we decided to open it up to everyone involved with the Thirty Days of Love!
We’re creating a Standing on the Side of Love mural (here’s a photo of one of our works-in-progress), but it won’t be complete until we have YOUR addition. You can write, collage, paint, draw—so long as it fits on an 8×10 piece of paper (vertical/portrait orientation), is family friendly, and contains at least one heart shape, it works. ALL are invited. We want you to participate, whether you think of yourself as an artist or not.
Send your love mural submissions to email@example.com by next Wednesday, Feb. 20 and check back next week, when we will post the finished product. And if visual art isn’t what inspires you, feel free to send us art in whatever form moves YOU the most—be it a song, poem, video, dance, or something creative we haven’t even thought up yet!
Beth, Michelle, Alicia, Tuesday, Michael, Heidi, Ro, Daniel, the Magee Girls, & our Love Team
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship
Last month, the Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network (MUUSJN) and people from three UU congregations took their big Standing on the Side of Love banners to participate in immigration reform press conferences across the state of Michigan. These events, organized by the Alliance for Immigrant Rights, helped kick off a national immigration reform campaign. In Detroit and Lansing, our message of love was welcomed by media event organizers. Another press event was held in Kalamazoo, where UUs participate in an immigration reform coalition called the Michigan Organizing Project. These events were covered by the Detroit News, the Lansing State Journal, a local CBS affiliate, and other media.
At these events, hundreds of supporters gathered to ask Congress and the President to keep their promises and pass reform in 2013. Faith, community, union, social service, and elected leaders called on the President and Congress to support these important principles in a reform bill:
• Keep families together through a path to citizenship.
• Grant visas for family preference.
• Reunits the deported with their families.
• Create a worker program that serves families, not just employers.
• Enforcs humane treatment in the border and detention systems.
• Promote racial justice and an end to all discriminatory programs.
• Establish an Immigrant Integration Office.
This is just the beginning of our advocacy for compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform in 2013!
This post was contributed by Randy Block, director of the Michigan UU Social Justice Network.More >
Today is Day 27 of the Thirty Days of Love. Today’s action is to celebrate our Fourth Annual National Standing on the Side of Love Day! Click here send in photos and stories of how you shared the love today. Click here to sign up for the daily Thirty Days of Love emails.
“Love isn’t an emotion or even an intention, but a policy, a vow, a behavior. It must be embodied to become real. Love exists only in action.”
- Rev. Tom Owen-Towle
Four years ago today, Unitarians Universalists began to re-imagine Valentine’s Day as a social justice holiday. We committed to investing in a different kind of love than the love corporations have been selling to us. Instead we chose to stand on the side of love with those who experience discrimination because of their identities.
Over time, our National Standing on the Side of Love Day has grown from one day to thirty, and has extended beyond Unitarian Universalists to welcome anyone who shares our values of promoting compassion, peace and justice.
Watch my video message to learn more about the wonderful ways that people across the country have taken part in these Thirty Days of Love:
Let’s celebrate the successful conclusion of these Thirty Days of Love together online. We are partnering with the Church of the Larger Fellowship for worship services on:
• Sunday, February 17 at 8:00pm ET
• Monday, February 18 at 9:00am and 1:30pm ET
Plan now to join in for one of these services. Check out our Facebook event to RSVP and invite your friends and family to join us.
Also, on February 17, many of our congregations are celebrating Share the Love Sunday in their sanctuaries. We have resources online for you to create your own Share the Love Sunday service for Feb. 17 or anytime this year. With a special plate collection for your Unitarian Universalist Association, Standing on the Side of Love will grow stronger and we will continue to promote our progressive liberal values in the world.
Together, our congregations and our Association can do amazing things. Thank you for your generosity and passion.
Rev. Peter Morales
Unitarian Universalist Association
On Wednesday, January 23rd, UU Mass Action participated in the Thirty Days of Love by helping our local immigrant rights partners organize a lobby day in support of the Massachusetts Trust Act. The Trust Act will end Immigration Custom and Enforcement’s co-opting of local law enforcement, which breaks down relationships in all of our communities.
In May 2012, Immigration Custom and Enforcement (ICE) implemented the Secure Communities (S-Comm) program statewide in Massachusetts despite the objections of immigrant rights groups, faith groups, many local law enforcement official,s and even Governor Patrick. ICE tells us that S-Comm makes our communities safer by deporting criminals who are undocumented. However, ICE’s own statistics show that this in not the case. Since its implementation, nearly 200 individuals have been deported through the S-Comm program–60% of those people have committed no crime at all (aside from their immigration violation) and another 10% have only committed minor infractions such as traffic violations or minor misdemeanors. Only 3 in 10 of those deported have committed the types of crimes that ICE touts as the reason for S-Comm. The national statistics, while not as bad, are still pretty grim: 83,000 people were deported using the S-Comm program in 2012 and 50% of had committed no crime or a minor traffic violation or misdemeanor.
The truth is that S-Comm does the exact opposite of its intended purpose. S-Comm makes our communities less safe. Nationwide thousands of families have been torn apart–taking parents away from U.S. citizen children, removing bread winners from homes, and throwing many into the hands of already strained local social service providers. S-Comm has also driven a wedge between immigrant communities and local law enforcement, making those communities much less likely to report crimes such as domestic violence, theft, and assault. S-Comm tears at the bonds of love and trust that hold our communities together, calling for a response from the faith community.
That is why UU Mass Action is working to engage Massachusetts Unitarian Universalists in the national Restoring Trust campaign and have played a leading role in getting the Massachusetts Trust Act filed. The Trust Act breaks the bond between ICE and local law enforcement, allowing a trusting relationship to form between police and immigrant communities and making it much harder for ICE to break up law abiding immigrant families.
We met directly with state legislators to ask them to sign on as co-sponsors of the bill. Together, we also mapped out a strategy for the next six months of the campaign. Over the coming weeks, UU Mass Action will continue to build the interfaith coalition in support of the Trust Act by asking congregations and religious leaders to sign on to the letter of support and leading a series of workshops across the state.
There are other active statewide Trust Act campaigns in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Oregon, and California, and many more local campaigns. Visit the Interfaith Immigration Coalition website today to see if there is a Trust Act campaign near you and learn more about how you could help start a campaign in your community.More >