The election is behind us, but I’m still smiling when I think of all of the ways love won out at the polls. I’m thrilled that in just a few weeks, same-sex couples will finally begin marrying in my home state of Maryland, and a bill offering in-state tuition for young DREAMers—affirmed by a popular vote—will become law. I’m also really excited by another development that has emerged since November 6th: commitments by both Democrats and Republicans to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform. Within our grasp is the promise of a pathway to citizenship for the millions of undocumented individuals in the United States who currently live in the shadows. This is a tremendous opportunity!
The wheels in my brain are turning as I think about all the ways I might work with local congregations and community leaders to push Congress to make lasting, humane immigration reform a reality. Fatefully, National Standing on the Side of Love Month, our Thirty Days of Love, will begin just as Congress reconvenes in January. Our Thirty Days is a spiritual journey for social justice, and the ideal time for us to lift up our voices together for a law that focuses on real people, and on keeping families together.
Please start thinking now about how you can work with your congregation, local advocacy organizations, and migrant rights groups during the Thirty Days of Love, January 19-February 17, to make a difference.
If you belong to a UU congregation, apply for a Standing on the Side of Love Matching Grant now to support your congregational efforts ahead. Click here to learn more about these grants.
The Fund for UU Social Responsibility makes funds available as matching grants of $500-$1,500 to UU congregations participating in the Standing on the Side of Love campaign. These grants are an ideal way to augment your social justice efforts during the Thirty Days of Love, whether your focus is marriage equality, anti-discrimination laws, or migrant rights. One year, our UU Legislative Ministry of Maryland received a grant that enabled us to make a video showcasing the breadth of religious support for marriage equality, and deliver the video to every legislator in the state. Another year, the grant supported a prayer breakfast for LGBTQ equality right near the State House, with legislators and press invited to participate.
As the New Year approaches, I make commitments to dedicate and rededicate myself to building the beloved community. I ask myself what more I can do for the underprivileged, marginalized, and oppressed. I love that shortly after the New Year we have a dedicated period called Thirty Days of Love where we actively strive to make the world a better place by centering ourselves, connecting with others, examining where we have been and would like to go, and engaging in sharing the love that speaks to our core values.
Please join me in making commitments now for Thirty Days of Love, January 19-February 17. Learn more about Standing on the Side of Love Matching Grants and make a plan to apply for one today. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. John Crestwell
The message above went out on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 to Standing on the Side of Love supporters. You can sign-up for these emails here.