As the debate over immigration reform continues in Washington, so too do the deportations that rip families apart. In response, our partners at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) have launched #Not1More, a collaborative project to expose, confront, and overcome unjust immigration enforcement policies through organizing, art, legislation, and action.
This is a monumental time in the movement for immigrant justice. Over the past two weeks, UUs went on 60+ advocacy visits to tell their elected officials that immigration reform must respect the inherent worth and dignity of all people. Today, thousands of folks will gather together in Washington, DC and at echo events across the country to raise their voices for compassionate immigration reform, and there will be a sea of Yellow Shirts there. An immigration reform bill is likely to be introduced any day now, and it is imperative that legislators continue to hear from you to ensure that reform is compassionate.
In recent years, deportations, incarceration, and criminalization of immigrant communities have escalated at an unprecedented rate. But at the same time, record numbers of people are refusing to be victims and instead are taking a stand for themselves, for their families, for our communities, and for all of us.
#Not1More weaves together all of our voices in a central location so that local efforts to stop deportation and build community are strengthened and accompanied by cultural creations that illustrate the ugliness of criminalization and the beauty of our communities.
Together we say: not one more family destroyed, not one more day without equality, not one more indifferent reaction to suffering, not one more deportation.
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
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
Have you ever struggled to explain our campaign to your friends and family as you encourage them to get involved? Ever felt stumped by what exactly it means to “stand on the side of love”?
Well, we’ve got you covered! Standing on the Side of Love produced this fun, inspiring message about who we are and what we do:
For today’s action, share the video with your friends and family, and encourage them join us on our spiritual journey for social justice! We are only halfway through our Thirty Days of Love, and there are plenty more great actions coming up, including getting involved in compassionate immigration reform, exploring how creativity lifts up our work, and of course, celebrating National Standing on the Side of Love Day!
Standing on the Side of Love
PS: Save the date for our Thirty Days of Love closing service! We’re partnering with the Church of the Larger Fellowship to come together online to celebrate the Thirty Days on Sunday, February 17 at 8:00pm ET and Monday, February 18 at 9:00am and 1:30pm ET. Stay tuned for more details!
Members of the SSL Community, including a number of UU Congregations and Ministers, have continued to speak out for an end to anti-gay bullying and harassment. Check out how we are making a difference!
It Gets Better
Gawker’s feminist web zine Jezebel picked the “It Gets Better” You Tube Video Channel of former SSL campaign chair Rev. Meg Riley as one of its top 15 favorites, along with Pres. Obama & House Speaker Pelosi. Don’t miss her poignant message of faith, community, universal justice, and love.
Rev. Debra Haffner, Exec. Director of the Religious Institute, a non-profit faith and religious based organization committed to sexual justice, offers an important message to her fellow faith leaders.
Lucy Liams wrote in her Letter to the Editor in the Utica Observer-Dispatch on October 18:
No loving God would give anyone the gift of life and of love only to punish or humiliate them. Children grow up to love whomever they will and to express their gender identities in ways that are not choices, but who they know themselves to be. Unitarian Univeralists stand on the side of love.
Witnessing on the Side of Love
Several SSL’ers participated in the Third Annual Marriage Equality New York Capital Region Wedding March, asking for the New York legislature to pass a marriage equality bill. Reported the Troy Record:
Susan Danielson and her 15-year-old son Paul, both members of the Unitarian Society, wore yellow T-shirts promoting Standing on the Side of Love, a Unitarian Universalist Association initiative that, according to its website, “seeks to harness love’s power to stop oppression.” Danielson said that marriage equality is a big issue for the Unitarian congregation.
“It’s unfair to deny the rights of a significant chunk of the population,” she said.
Click here to read the full article from the Troy Record.
In Sarasota, Florida, UU Minister Rev. Dee Graham offered eloquent words at a candlelight vigil. The local Herald-Tribune reported:
Those tragedies motivated about 150 people to attend an anti-bullying protest and candlelight vigil Sunday evening on the Sarasota bayfront organized by Campus Ministries, Sarasota Pride and the Faith Communities of the Gulfcoast Affirming Interfaith Network.
“We are here to say we will stand together in love,” said the Rev. Dee Graham, chaplain for several local colleges. “There is hope, ” Graham said. “There is a tomorrow. There is a greater love in the world and we’re here to witness to that. “
I participated today in a “Wedding March” for marriage equality. We gathered at the Irish Mist in Troy then marched along Second Avenue through Russel Sage to the Farmers Market next to the old city hall. Then we marched past the soon to be completed Dinosaur Bar-B-Que to the Troy Chowder Fest chanting, “What do we want?” “Marriage Equality!” “When do we want it?” “Now!” We had a good contingent of Unitarian Universalists all wearing Standing on the Side of Love T-Shirts. Check out Marriage Equality for New York to learn more about future actions.
Our abolitionist ancestors fought to change laws. Subsequent generations took equality’s cause to the hearts and minds of America. Our calling now may be similar — to transform the hearts and minds of America toward tolerance of gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual family, friends, and neighbors. This could save lives. The stakes are very high. If that is our calling, it is incredibly relevant…
…If we live our foundational beliefs in the worth of every soul, the dignity of every person by addressing these frontiers, future generations may regard us as giants, sit upon our shoulders, and cast visions into futures we cannot foresee. We might be giants, or we might be standing on the shoulders those whose theology and advocacy raised us up. In either case, there is work to be done, hearts to be won, lives to be saved.