We are Unitarian Universalists. We are brave, curious, and compassionate thinkers and doers. We are believers in what is good, what is right, and what is just … We are a house without walls, a congregation without spiritual boundaries, and a movement towards a more action-oriented faith in yourself, your god, and your beliefs.
Those words come from the UUA Brand Report, based on interviews with a large number of Unitarian Universalists about what is significant in UUism. You might put it a little differently, but you probably agree with the gist of it.
Nine of us from UUFM, along with representatives from four other UU congregations learned about UUism, where we fit within the changing religious landscape, and how we might be able to reach out in love, during the Love Reaches Out workshop on October 20.
We also brainstormed ideas for helping people in the community to know who we are and what we represent.
There are already many ways that we show up in the community. UUFM members have consistently testified before City Commission for LBGTQ rights; supported charitable organizations with money, goods, and volunteer hours; and shown up for rallies against hate and for racial justice. When we have shown up, though, people haven’t always recognized us as UU’s. Our individual members are strong supporters of Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice, and our building hosts Little Apple Pride meetings. Still, the community’s knowledge of us is vague. We need to make sure the community knows who we are and what we believe in.
Here are some ideas that came out of the workshop:
- Participate in the holiday parade.
- Create a publicity campaign for Our Whole Lives.
- Sell real, healthy food at Purple Power Play (and provide recycling!)
- Bring our Musicale out into the community by holding it at Peace Memorial Auditorium (or another location outside our building so more people can attend)
- Use our gardening skills and interests to connect with community needs
These are not necessarily things that will happen. They are ideas. If there is interest, we may pursue them. So, the next step is to see who might be interested in what. If you want to work on one of these ideas, talk with our Chair Jessica Sievers, Chair-Elect Mark Mayfield, or with me. It’s better to tackle one or two things well, with enthusiasm and with many people, than to try to do many things and not make as profound an impression.