We’ve been reflecting on the shift that just happened at Justice GA. So many are reporting a difference.  As a faith tradition, we seemed to have gone through a collective growth spurt.  This is the fourth in a 4-part series featuring examples of how we experienced and observed health and transformation.

 

 

Associational

Associational growth is about how we are in partnership, whether that be laterally (Unitarian Universalist congregation to congregation,) horizontally (each congregation to it’s district or the institutionally UUA,) or across-ly (Unitarian Universalist congregations to other community justice partners or to other cousins in faith.)

Salvador Reza of the group Puente

Arizona Partners

In a 2010, the General Assembly (GA) called on the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) administration to work with leaders in Arizona Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations to establish an Arizona Immigration Ministry (AZIM) to partner with other groups in Arizona working for immigration reform to strengthen those partnerships in preparation for our arrival in 2012.  The resulting list of Arizona Partners is long and exhaustive.  This kind of coalition work requires differentiation, honesty, negotiation, and a vision to contain all the differences. It’s not easy work, anyone who was involved will tell you.  But it’s worth it.  It’s how we grow beyond our own margins and borders.

  • Who are your partners in justice and community making? How has partnering challenged you? Made you stronger? Increased your impact and effectiveness?
  • If you don’t currently partner what is holding you back?

 

United Church of Christ

Many of you may know that the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association collaborated together on the Our Whole Lives curriculum. The assembled UUs were delighted to know that our relationship does not stop there. That relationship is growing.

The picture below is of UCC President Geoffrey Black  addressing the vigil after touring the Tent City jails as part of a religious delegation.  Rev. Black attended the entire General Assembly much to the vocal delight of the assembly. He addressed the plenary on occasion and often actively participated in worship. It was wonderful to have our cousins in faith present as a partner.  I hope this is the beginning of a reciprocal relationship.

UCC President Geoffrey Black

 

  • Who are your religious communities’ partners?  How do you show up?  How and when do you ask for help?
  • How do you maintain equality at the table?

 

Those are some examples.  How else did you experience and/or observe growth spurts at General Assembly?  Please share your thoughts in the comments and include your name and congregation.

About the Author
Tandi Rogers
  • Joel Slater

    I think we will shrink as a religious congregation if our religion is based on Social Justice, and not that our acts of Social Justice are based on our Religion.

  • http://pfarrerstreccius.blogspot.com Bill Baar

    Some UUs have made friends and partners, but that’s not growth. What am I missing here please?

  • Vicki Siefers

    I was thinking that the UUs have made real progress in moving towards beloved community and how this can transform society based on Dr. King’s vision of brotherhood and sisterhood working for social justice.

  • Ken

    Growth is not just about numbers. Presence and visibility in the wider community is one way to grow and many of our congregations in the PSWD have grown in “incarnational” ways. In addition congregations like Ventura, CA and
    Phoenix, AZ have grown in numbers in recent years in part because of their leadership in the wider community.
    People want to be connected to a congregation that is walking the talk.