Prisms

Posted by Jeremie Bateman // January 31st 2014 // 30 Days of Love // no comments

DAY 14: Interfaith Perspective For me, stories are an absolutely essential part of my faith. As has come up each year during 30 Days of Love, I grew up Roman Catholic and spent much of my high school and college years around Franciscans. When I think about stories that have impact for me, many of them are stories of Francis of Assisi. The story of Francis embracing a leper – who he had previously ignored, avoided and had been taught to despise – reminds me to push past the cultural messages, personal fears and other barriers that keep me from recognizing the worth of each person and acting on the recognition. The story of Francis…

It’s ALL Connected

Posted by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // January 30th 2014 // 30 Days of Love // no comments

DAY 13: Intersectional Justice Making When I was a little girl I wanted to save the planet. At four years old my concept of saving the planet involved recycling, stopping pollution by singing songs about how much I loved the earth, and being really nice to animals. Sixteen years later, as a college student, I still recycled and brought re-usable bags to the store, but I had become much more interested in other justice issues, issues that I thought were completely separate from those hippie-dippy tree-hugging concerns. I was learning about institutional racism and western hegemony, and these problems seemed to have nothing to do with my naïve ideas about saving the planet. Then one…

The Changing Reality

Posted by Jeremie Bateman // January 29th 2014 // 30 Days of Love // no comments

DAY 12: Same Place, New Times My cousin is a high school junior. My 10 year high school reunion was a few months ago. When I go home for family gatherings, sometimes we chat about teachers we have in common, or a classmate of mine who is now working at the school. We talk about how things have changed in course offerings, the renovations in the building, the new 8-period schedule with shorter lunch periods that I still don’t understand. But what we haven’t talked about, and what I’ve been thinking about in light of today’s post about changing demographics and the Multicultural Sharing Project over at Standing on the Side of Love, is how…

Sharing Stories in Covenant

Posted by T. Resnikoff // January 28th 2014 // 30 Days of Love // no comments

DAY 11: Living Out Your Story Stories are about life, whether real or imagined, and when we read, hear or learn a story we place ourselves in relation to it. It is our nature to tell stories to transmit the narrative of an experience, real or imagined. Narratives typically include a problem which the narrator or protaganist(s) must overcome. When the story is real, hearing it from the person who lived it is a powerful experience, one that can inspire listeners to reflect upon and tell their story in response. Sharing stories enters us into relationship with others. When the stories are shared in covenant – knowing that we are safe to speak and be…

The Power of Stories

Posted by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // January 27th 2014 // 30 Days of Love // no comments

DAY 10: Sharing Stories   The truly very important matter So a couple months ago, something happened to me that I imagine you might be able to relate to. I got really upset about something a stranger said on the internet. Now you probably know how this goes. First Random Acquaintance posts a status on facebook about a Very Important Matter about which you have strong feelings. So you post a comment, with your (carefully worded) opinion. Some other acquaintances chime in, mostly in agreement with you, but then, here comes Stranger, posting something that is just plain wrong. Stranger knows Random Acquaintance, but you and Stranger have no connection. Still, you feel compelled to…

Speaking Out

Posted by T. Resnikoff // January 26th 2014 // 30 Days of Love // no comments

DAY 9: Making the narrative public It can be hard to express the fullness of your identity in public when who you are or what you know to be right is different from others, but when it comes to witnessing inequity and injustice it is necessary to speak out – even when its hard. Speaking out does not mean confrontation – it is not forgetting what you know to be true, sharing with others what you have witnessed, and teaching what you know about the injustice of what you have witnessed are ways of speaking out. History teaches that inspiring closed minds and hard hearts with one’s voice in support what is just and right…

Building On Our Base

Posted by T. Resnikoff // January 25th 2014 // 30 Days of Love // no comments

DAY 8: Suppress Voter Suppression Many of the freedoms we take for granted required tremendous struggle and sacrifice on the part of committed individuals and communities. One struggle involved gaining full voting rights for all people – women, people of color, workers, and young adults. Today, voter suppression threatens the gains made through numerous justice struggles, and negatively impacts our democracy. Examples include income inequality, disappearing educational and employment opportunity, reproductive justice, access to health care, immigrant justice, the civil rights of LGBTQ persons, and unequal treatment of marginalized people in the judiciary system. After a week of learning more about voting suppression, and the state of democracy in our country, where do we go…

We Move Forward Together

Posted by T. Resnikoff // January 24th 2014 // 30 Days of Love // no comments

Day 7: Moral Movement for Redemption Resist Oppression Oppression is an unjust exercise of power or authority. It exists in many forms. Sometimes we oppress others without realizing. Other times oppression is intentional. In a free society oppression happens when and because we allow it to. We allow oppression through our silence, inaction or ignorance. It doesn’t take much for oppression to take hold – even a small organized group can exercise influence on social policy and attitudes that belies its size. In 1980 organized political activity by 2 – 4 million voters known as the Moral Majority, arguably led to Ronald Reagan’s election as President(1). Then – by encouraging evangelical ministers to promote the…

Challenge the Challenge to the Right to Vote

Posted by T. Resnikoff // January 23rd 2014 // 30 Days of Love // no comments

DAY 6: Dismantling the “New Poll Tax”   End Voter Suppression When Poll Taxes were ruled unconstitutional in 1964 many thought that the 5th Principle of Unitarian Universalism, “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large” was achieved for all citizens. Sadly, if that was the case, it is no longer. Opponents of universal suffrage have worked hard to restrict the right to vote in this country, and 50-years on voter suppression disenfranchises many of the people who won the right to vote in 1964, and many others when they will come of age to vote.   The goal of voter suppression is, of…

Complete Congregation

Posted by Carey McDonald // January 22nd 2014 // 30 Days of Love // no comments

DAY 5: Building Multicultural Congregations – My generation is the most diverse in American history, yet still we struggle with the legacies of racism, segregation and injustice that we have inherited from our ancestors. Fewer and fewer schools, businesses and neighborhoods are all-white, but racial disparities in wealth, education and jobs are as strong as they’ve ever been in the last 50 years. That means that if we want to change the reality we see it will require a new kind of cross-community coalition building, and religious spaces will be key in launching it.   Church can and should be a place where we learn what it feels like to open ourselves up to different…