5 years ago, though it seems like much more, I started a project called I Am UU. This wasn’t my attempt to claim the mantle, as a few very misguided souls have accused me of, but an effort to build a community of people who were proud to tell the world “I am UU”. Others say “I am Catholic” and “I am Hindu”, and claim that as part of their identity; I hoped that we could be inspired to be more than “a Unitarian Universalist”.
In a very different sense, though, today I want to remind you that you are Unitarian Universalism. Lately I have seen people abandoning that label because they have problems with some aspect of Unitarian Universalism that they can’t resolve, usually having to do with leadership and direction. Believe me when I say that I understand those frustrations. We need to remind ourselves that we are the leaders, though, and we choose the direction. By participating in your congregation and setting its goals and vision, you have a direct impact on the goals and vision of Unitarian Universalism, and by making sure that your congregation participates as fully as possible in the General Assembly, you help steer the UUA and what Unitarian Universalism is and does nationally.
I’ve written a few times about stewardship, and one thing I hope people have taken away from that is that stewardship is about a lot more than keeping the light bill paid. It is about a commitment to ensuring that liberal religion and Unitarian Universalism in particular are alive and healthy for future generations. That takes money, but money alone will never be enough.
For all the problems congregational polity creates in the modern world, it does mean that each of our congregations is recognized as its own church, setting its own themes, tones, and goals. This is a power you have over all of Unitarian Universalism, if you choose to use it. Make friends and allies in other congregations, and you stand a chance of shaping our future.
We are Unitarian Universalism, and that is a responsibility we ought to take very seriously.
While it is certain that money alone will never be enough to keep Unitarian Universalism alive and well as a movement, it is sadly true that money is still necessary in keeping it so. If you find the work of the I Am UU project to be helpful to you, your congregation, or your personal ministry in whatever shape it takes, please consider pledging a dollar to us on Patreon to keep this ministry alive and well.