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 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.)
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?
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.
- 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.