UU Saturday Writing Challenge

This week, I wanted to present another writing challenge. This time, I want to focus on what we stand for, in a positive way. It is easy for us to be caught up in the anger and frustration over how slowly the world is moving towards real universal justice and compassion, and we understand that. We still need to be aware that our movement is not defined b what it is against. So, this weekend, we want you to write an elevator speech, an explanation of what Unitarian Universalism is, or what it means to you, in all positive statement. Avoid the word “Not” or any contraction containing “n’t” in your description. Focus on what we are for, and leave out what we are against.

The idea is that we want people to see us as a positive force in the world. We want people to join us and be with us, and not just against some other thing. Most importantly, we want to have a mission that extends beyond any one goal. If our mission is to slay some dragon of injustice, then we have to about redefining ourselves once it is dispatched. We need to be more than a series of social justice causes.

We’d love for you to share your writing as a post on your Facebook, and if you tag it with @I Am UU, we’ll be able to see it. You are also encouraged to write it out here, in case you don’t want to share it on Facebook, or your privacy settings might prevent us from seeing it. So, leave your paragraph in the comments below!

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7 Responses to UU Saturday Writing Challenge

  1. Peggy Richards March 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    I managed to raise my children with principles, morals too, depending on your definition – my thoughts on sex and marriage and such would make an old church lady blush. More like “do unto others …” and “do no harm”. I now have a written version – 7 principles, which I have always believed in, just didn’t have the label of UU. I did this without organized religion, beyond a short period of Lutheran Sunday School because I wanted them to have “something.”
    We worshipped at the docks while fishing, and picking up other people’s monofilament. We worshipped on our walks through nature, picking up other people’s litter. We worshipped when, at the end of any outing, my pockets and/or purse was full of junk because they didn’t dare litter – so they handed it to me (this carried through to the grandchildren). We were poor, our house was a mess, but we had love, compassion and consideration – and nature.
    I now have a community of people who believe in the same basics that I do. We may differ on the delivery method or inspiration by which we have and do our good works. That does not matter, just makes for good discussions.
    I was a ‘good’ person, as you can see above. I often try to put myself in the other person’s shoes before judging – but I still judge. I had and have some failings. I hold a grudge. Forgiveness is difficult. I don’t work well ‘in committee.’ Etc. Being in ‘community’ for the past six years has made major improvements on all those fronts. I am human – and I am accepted as such. Wondrous!!!

    short version: I now have a community of people who believe in the same basics that I do. We may differ on the delivery method or inspiration by which we have and do our good works. That does not matter, just makes for good discussions.

    • Thomas March 29, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      It is certainly positive, but there are more than a couple of “Not” statements. Still, hard to deny that it makes us look good! Thank you for this wonderful testimony, Peggy!

  2. Rev. J.F. Crawford (@TheMissionalist) March 29, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    Okay – I took the challenge. Needed more than a paragraph, though. http://bootsandblessings.blogspot.com/2014/03/testimony-to-woman-in-starbucks-who.html

  3. Jo H Victoria April 1, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    In my church I celebrate the interconnectedness of all things by nurturing the threads that link me with the rest of my congregation. I find inspiration in the music, the sermon, the coffee hour chit chat, the celebration of our successes and calls to stand in solidarity with my fellow humans as they work for justice. I learn from the kids in RE, as they find their place in this world, and our teens, as they discover their selves by challenging us to be more than who we assume we can be. And I walk through the rest of my days determined to be a force for good in my world, aware of the amazingness of our universe, humbled by its enormity and in awe as I breathe in the stuff made from stars. My faith urges me to marvel in the magnificence of being and grounds me in the reality of the power of kindness and love.

  4. Myke Johnson April 4, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    This isn’t quite what you asked, but I thought you might like to see the 3-4 minute video Allen Avenue UU Church in Portland Maine (where I serve as minister) did about elevator speeches, in which I and many other members give their own version of the elevator speech–this is the direct link. It also links from our website at http://www.a2u2.org,

  5. Kathleen April 30, 2014 at 1:15 am #

    Hi Thomas. It took me long enough, but here it is:

    Unitarian Universalism started as two similarly progressive religions that merged in 1961. The two incorporated by agreeing on a set of principles that included insisting all humans have worth and dignity, and searching for religious or spiritual truths with integrity. Individual beliefs are very diverse. Membership and, more importantly, participation in the church community calls us to practice right relationship with one another. We can better adapt, adjust, and minister to, from the Latin ministrare, “to serve,” our increasingly complicated world.

    • Thomas April 30, 2014 at 7:21 am #

      Better late than never! I wonder if “right relationship” isn’t too technical for the person in line at the grocery store or the library, but I love that you give a little perspective and history!

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