The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California (UULMCA) has launched a 10-month internship program that aims to build young adult leaders who are healthy in spirit, mind, and body. Check out their flyer!
Witness and Action
At the 2001 General Assembly in Cleveland, OH, delegates marched to the baseball stadium to protest the use of the name “Indians” as the team mascot. This effort was particularly cathartic for me. I was a relatively new UU and a long time fan of another baseball team with an equally racially-charged mascot, the Atlanta Braves. I honestly had never been bothered by such team names, and the march and rally challenged me to rethink the insensitivity and privilege of the dominant culture, of which I am a part.
As the delegates filed out of the hall and into a pouring rain, someone started singing “One More Step”, a hymn written by Canadian UU composer, Joyce Poley. No one had copies of Singing the Living Tradition in hand, and it appeared to be an impromptu decision to sing together as we marched in peaceful protest. I was moved to tears as I began a journey of bringing music to the cause of social witness. Although we were guests in that city, our music brought a calming, yet galvanizing, presence to the protest. (more…)
I love the Youth Caucus at General Assembly because of our community’s open-minded flexibility and fantastically positive energy. This is not to say that these qualities are exclusive to the Youth Caucus, but, as a youth chaplain to the Youth Caucus last year at GA, I had the privilege of observing my peers’ growth throughout the week, and I can assure you that their growth was astounding. Sure, we may be a bit rowdy at times, but our age also gives us a unique readiness to consider alternative opinions and perspectives.
A good example of this comes from an experience at last year’s GA. In addition to being a chaplain, I had the honor of being a member of the Right Relationship Team. Early in the week, another member of the Right Relationship Team pulled me aside and informed me of an issue with one of the games that was played at the Youth Caucus mixer the previous night. The game was called Ninja; to play, a group of people stand in a circle and take turns making swift movements to tap the hand of the person next to them. The last player to remain untapped is the winner. The game is a ton of fun, and very popular, but its name is also a serious cultural misappropriation.
Editor’s Note: This post comes from Pastor Prayers, the blog of the Rev. Parisa Parsa, who describes herself as a mother and a minister serving a wonderful congregation in Milton, MA. Parisa writes:
This is the text I wrote as the basis for my homily at the UU Vespers service at Occupy Boston on October 16, 2011. I spoke without notes, so the homily delivered was ‘adapted.’
Isn’t it great to be here?
It is a thing of beauty to see people coming together across political persuasions and ages and ethnicity and just about everything else in order to say: we are all in the same boat.
In order to say: we are all in the same boat and we are not about to let it sink! It is ours to repair and restore together. (more…)
Whatever the issue area, be it Occupy Wall Street, immigrant integration, or how we are together in religious community, whether we’re conscious of it or not, a paradigm is operative. A paradigm is a mindset or set of assumptions, often unexamined, about how things happen. It’s the way we shape and understand information; it reflects our perceptions and approach to problem-solving.