Living into the Promise

This Sunday, February 4, we will be taking a special collection for Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism in a service that the president and board of the Unitarian Universalist Association have asked all our congregations to participate in. They call the service “The Promise and the Practice of Our Faith for Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU),” or “The Promise and the Practice, for short.


In this exciting and challenging service, we are encouraged to center the voices of people of color, even though it is natural in most of our congregations to center white voices most of the time. That means that in this service we will not be giving our own perspectives on race matters but will listen to the words of people of color who wrote for our readers to share. It means that, rather than me telling you even the truest and most unvarnished truth about race, you will listen to the perspective of someone other than your usual Fellowship leaders.


The president of our association and Lena Gardner share this summary: “Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism is one of the most exciting ways our faith is answering its call. As a national ministry for and by black-identified Unitarian Universalists, BLUU embodies a liberating community of all ages. A community that lifts up the lives, and stories and the leadership of those who have been marginalized and silenced. A community that brings hope, when hope is hard to find. And a community that calls us to wrestle with the gap between our theology and our practice in the world.”


This is particularly important for our denomination because of our history in the late 1960s of making financial promises to Black UU leaders and then not carrying through as promised. Our current effort is needed for us to become the best denomination we can, but also to address our historic failings.


The board of the Unitarian Universalist Association has set aside one million dollars from the association’s endowment to support BLUU. In addition, Julie and Brad Bradburd have offered an additional one million dollars to match congregational giving that amounts to $10 per member. All of our gifts are needed for their gift to reach it potential. If this Fellowship gives $1,500 in our special collection, our gift will qualify to be doubled by this matching gift. So please, do your best, at whatever level that is, and share according to your resources and your highest aspirations for this denomination.


Peace and Blessings,
Rev. Paul