The Pop Culture Conversation (covered in the most previous blog post, which inspired some very interesting comments) also inspired an act of gratitude and witness that I hope you will pick up and make your own.

The Pop Culture Conversation asked the questions, “Where in American popular culture is most exciting? Does Unitarian Universalism have a place there? And what could that look like?”

A handful of us continued the conversation with the questions, “Who in American popular culture is most exciting? How do they live out the ideals of Unitarian Universalism? How can we cheer them on and support them?”   The group’s collective lightbulb went on simultaneously.  I ran down to the UUA Bookstore and picked up five Standing on the Side of Love t-shirts and a package of chalice-bearing notecards.

President Peter Morales was delighted to be involved with our mission.  He wrote encouraging messages to the following people, which we folded into our care packages along with his business card and information about Unitarian Universalism.

 

Rachel Maddow, Host MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” and author: “Thank you for standing on the side of truth, which is core to our faith tradition.”

 

Melissa Harris-Perry, host of MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry” and author: “Thank you for standing on the side of truth, which is core to our faith tradition.”

 

Ami Bera, Congressman for California’s 7th District and a self-identified Unitarian Universalist: “Congratulations, and thank you for your service, for standing on the side of democracy, which is core to our faith tradition.”

 

Ben Haggerty, hip hop artist Macklemore who debuted hip hop’s first popular song about gay rights, Same Love: “Thank you for courageously and creatively standing on the side of love, which is core to our faith tradition.”

 

Stephen Colbert, political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, and actor. He is the host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report: “Thanks for the great publicity!”

 

 The Office of Growth Strategies encourages you to do the same in your part of the world. Who in your community is most exciting/courageous/loving? How do they live out the ideals of Unitarian Universalism? How can you cheer them on and support them?  Imagine the messages you could send if you printed up your own cards with a lovely chalice on the front representing your congregation and on the back of the card your congregation’s name,worship address and times, website, phone, and an email contact.   Maybe you’ll bake cookies for a sector of city workers who have been putting in overtime to ensure the safety of your town. Maybe you’ll send pizza to the next board meeting of another congregation whose justice work you admire or send their justice committee Standing on the Side of Love t-shirts. Please send us your ideas in the comments and/or stories of what you’re already doing to thank and witness to goodness in your community.
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Tandi Rogers is the UUA’s Growth Strategist.  She once sent thank you notes to all the featured writers for YES magazine. Five of them wrote back to let her know they were Unitarian Universalist, too!

 

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Tandi Rogers

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  1. Michelle

    This fall we’ve introduced a “Gratitude Monday” practice at Starr King School. Each Monday at 8:45 we gather in person on campus (and via Twitter @GratitudeSKSM) and make Thank You Cards (using mostly recycled art supplies!). We talk about what we are thankful for and strive to embody some of what we’ve been studying about the principle of Gracias: gratitude, hope and forgiveness in communities (as described in “Salsa, Soul and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age” – our Text by Juana Bordas this semester). It’s been a simple, profound practice – with some profound implications for transforming individuals and the collective! What learning comes when we simply extend thanks!

    We’ll gladly welcome more UU’s to join in from around the globe when our new semester begins in February! #GratitudeSKSM Monday at 8:45 am, Berkeley time!

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