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May Your Flame Burn Bright

Posted by Carey McDonald // June 6th 2012 // soundings, Stories and Voices, young adults // 2 comments

April 6 Youth Movement Official logo (Photo: Internet)


The revolution starts in the heart.

These are the words of Waleed Rashed, a co-founder of Egypt’s April 6th Movement, a political movement amongst Egypt’s youth to oust the dictator who had governed their entire lives.


When we met, we had a goal, we knew we wanted to oust the regime. We didn’t know the first thing about starting a revolution, but the revolution existed within our hearts, so we made it happen. You can revolutionize anything, but the revolution must exist within your heart.”

Waleed Rashed speaking at a UN event (from Wikipedia)

I introduced him tonight at The First Unitarian Church of Dallas, and listened to his tale about how he and a handful of people who had never met started an online invitation that became a movement that involved millions. After he spoke I asked myself, does a revolution exist within my heart? The answer is yes. That revolution is the flame of the chalice.

As a Young Adult things have happened to me that have plagued my mind and rocked my soul, and in those dark times it was my faith that kept me strong.


It wasn’t the faith of my other religious peers, who had books of laws and large communities to tell them their doctrines. There were no straight paths.

My faith was something different–a blade of light that cut through the darkness, a blade of hope which let me set my own path–and I testify to you that like all men, I have ventured into some dark forests.

Yet no matter how dark it became, no matter how lost I felt, my faith, my Unitarian Universalist faith, never left me.

When I realized this, I knew I was a religious man.

When I realized this, I knew I had my first conversation with God.

You may call me insane – and I will not fault you, for I feel insane for saying it – but if this is insanity, I hope never to be sane again.

It’s not as if God said anything to me. I do not believe God is a man in the sky. What I felt, what I feel every time I ponder on my faith is a feeling of hope, a hope that burns away my fears. I am a Unitarian Universalist. It was the faith of my late father, it is my faith, and if God makes it so it will be the faith of my children.

My faith is one of love.

My faith is one of truth.

My faith is one of service to humanity and to the earth.

My faith is the flame that burns bright for the world to see.

This letter is for those who have the flame of the chalice in their hearts.

In the summer of 2012 I ask you to let your flames burn bright.

At this General Assembly of Justice, I ask you to do all things in faith, even the things in the darkness, and afterwards take that flame and set the world ablaze with it.

Do not be afraid to pray.

Do not be afraid to speak to others about your faith.

Do not be afraid to challenge your church.

Do not be afraid–for your faith, our faith, can be a blade of hope that cuts through the darkness, a shining light of freedom for all the world to see.

If this letter speaks to the flame in your heart, pass it on to those
you know who feel the same way… Pass this as a symbol of the fire we share, for though it may not seem like it, this is an exercise in faith.

May the flame burn bright within you,

Raziq Brown

Raziq Brown is a member of The First Unitarian Church of Dallas. Learn more about Raziq on his website.



About the Author

Carey is the Chief Operating Officer for the UUA.
2 Responses to “May Your Flame Burn Bright”
  1. Thomas Earthman says:

    It is good to see faith, prayer, and even God being not only mentioned, but held up as good and worthy on a UUA page. The young adults are much less afraid to have faith, even unorthodox or broadly defined faith, than many of those who came before us.

    We do need to make it known that we want a spiritual home that supports great work in our communities. Thank you for putting out this call!

    Also, Your link to 1st U Dallas is broken…

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