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Join the May 12th Conscience Call on Love Resists!

Just before May Day, the UUA, Standing on the Side of Love, UUSC and the UU College of Justice rolled out a joint initiative, Love Resists. We’re resisting the Trump administration’s targeting and criminalization of whole communities – those of us who are Muslim, immigrants, Black and Brown people, LGBTQ folks and other communities most directly under threat.

We’re hosting a ‘Conscience Call’ on Friday, May 12th, where you can learn more about Love Resists and how you can be part of it.

Coming into Covenant

Check out our second in our conversations about covenant - how we create them and what it means to return to them - between Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen, our new Spiritual Sustenance Advisor and Nora Rasman, our Campaign Manager.

lizabeth: The other day we were talking with some of the ministers who have been part of the very DIY minister in residence program in Bismarck and at Standing Rock. We gathered folks together to ask how their ministries all over the United States had been impacted by their time supporting the resistance camps and Native-led justice work. We asked how they were supporting Native sovereignty and self-determination in their local contexts and what we could learn about ways we can show up in the future. One of the ministers shared that for her, going to support Rev. Karen Van Fossen at the Bismarck-Mandan UU congregation, and the movement of Water Protectors was about fulfilling a covenant. That on every level, from a UU congregation humbly, faithfully fortifying a groundswell of resistance, to the funding from other UU ministers and institutions and individuals that allowed ministers to go and support, to the willingness of clergy themselves to show up for one another -  it was about keeping and honoring covenant. 

Nora: Yes indeed. That moment had me thinking a lot about the ways that covenant is embodied and consistent - and how that feels like the covenant I’m thirsty to support and grow. As non-coercive embodied actions, what does it mean to live into covenant? For those of us who are UU, do we have something along the lines of original covenant, whereby being born and/or raised UU are we committed to covenant? And what does it mean spiritually when we have shared articulated values but embody them so differently or not at all?

On Covenant

We are so thrilled to announce that a few weeks ago Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen joined Standing on the Side of Love as our Spiritual Sustenance Advisor. In her role, Elizabeth brings passion around how theology and spirituality fortify intersectional organizing and she continues work with Youth and Young Adults of Color in the YaYA Office. 

We’re starting off our work with a conversation between Elizabeth and Nora Rasman talking about covenant - knowing that within UU communities, we are really grappling with the limitations and gifts of covenant and we are simultaneously excited about what covenant can offer to organizing work. 

“Covenant is resonant for some – not all of us. Guidelines...are tools – and like any tool can be used to build or tear down. In practicing these guidelines, we’re encouraging you to use them to create space rather than shut down others." - Rev. Alicia Forde

Rise Up May 1st - National Day of Action & Resistance

On May 1st members of immigrant, refugee, Muslim, Black and Brown, indigenous, LGBTQ communities, workers, women, environmental justice activists, and all who support a vibrant and diverse future for our country will Rise Up because interdependence means that none of us are free until we are all free. 

We’re coming together across the country in 100 cities to resist the current administration’s deportation machine, it’s ‘law and order’ agenda, and the scapegoating and criminalization of whole communities.  We’ll take collective action for collective liberation and against policies that threaten our planet and our collective well-being.

Will you join us?

Onward from here

Recent weeks have included important and necessary conversations within Unitarian Universalism about the ways white supremacy has and continues to show up within our faith tradition. We are neither unique nor absolved from doing the hard and urgent work within our faith community to transform into the spiritual home we aspire to.

Courageous leadership from women of color like Christina Rivera and Aisha Hauser have brought us to an important next step on our journey. A time that mandates exploration, navigation and transformation to grapple with the ways white supremacy continues to be perpetuated by our institutions like the UUA. Black Lives of UU wrote a statement on UU & UUA power structures and hiring practices we highly recommend you review.

We know that wherever we are - geographically and politically - our congregations are navigating the waters of white supremacy. We have an opportunity to look at our own congregations and organizations to understand our internal cultural and institutional practices while assessing our social location in relationship to our wider communities. Disrupting such systems requires similar vigilance - relentless, unapologetic and rooted in the visions of liberation we are building towards. Religious educators Aisha Hauser, Christina Rivera and Kenny Wiley, in collaboration with Black Lives of UU, have invited congregations across the country to dedicate their programming on April 30 or May 7 to a #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn. Our faith tells us that our goodness has already been established. Our task, then, is to live up to that inherent goodness.