The Promise and the Practice of Our Faith campaign is an opportunity to address our denomination’s centuries-long history of systemic racism; of discouraging engagement and often closing the door on people of color in the Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist faiths. Steps have been taken in recent decades to examine our history; to be more welcoming and inclusive; to live out our principles. It has not been enough.
“What our tortured, tragic, disappointing history teaches us,” wrote Mark Morrison-Reed in a 2017 UU World essay “is that change is incremental. It takes time. In the process many people of color have been wounded, are wounded, and will continue to be. But change is inevitable and seems to be accelerating …….. We have fallen short and will again, and when we do, we need to pause and pray and ask, What does love demand of me? And then stand up and try again.”
In 1967, a promise of financial support by the denomination to address this history was broken. Now is the time to collectively work to acknowledge the full story of our UU history and amend this broken promise to the Black Lives within our association. In 2017, a financial commitment of five million dollars was made by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to Black Lives Unitarian Universalism (BLUU). The stated goals of BLUU are: (1) expanding the power and capacity of Black UUs within our faith, (2) providing support, information, and resources for Black UUs, and (3) justice-making and liberation through our faith.
Unitarian Universalist congregations throughout the country are asked to join in The Promise and the Practice of Our Faith by engaging in the following opportunities:
- Schedule one Sunday to engage around the theme The Promise and the Practice of Our Faith. At the Unitarian Society of Germantown, this will take place on January 28th.
- Make a financial commitment in support of Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU). The entire pledge to BLUU will come from several sources. Member contributions will provide one million dollars toward the commitment. The money raised in each congregation will be matched by a generous donor, provided each member contributes $10, or an equivalent amount is raised in that church. The money from USG will be collected at the January 28th service. We have 310 members. If we can raise $3,100, that money will be matched. Larger donations are welcome.
- Make a long-term commitment to eradicate racism and oppression from within our denomination and beyond; to uplift the Black Lives, Black Voices, and Black Leadership of Unitarian Universalism; and to nurture a radically inclusive, justice centered, multiracial religious faith.
This effort is supported by the Ending Racism Taskforce of the USG church Board of Trustees and by the Ministry Executive Team (MET).
For more information about the campaign, go to https://www.uua.org/giving/areas-support/funds/promise-and-practice/frequently-asked-questions
To learn more about our racial history, read Mark Morrison-Reed’s essay in the October 2017 issue of UU World. https://www.uuworld.org/articles/black-hole-white-uu-psyche