The Beloved Community is, perhaps, the closest Unitarian Universalists get to agreeing on Heaven; it is the idea that one day our Principles will be realized here on Earth, and all people will be treated in accordance with their inherent worth and dignity, afforded their right of conscience, and that we will have a world that is just, equitable, and compassionate. This is our salvation story, and it is one that we know we can attain, though it will take the marshaling and management of a lot of resources in time, skill, and money, if we are to succeed. In short, it will take Stewardship.
Stewardship is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
“the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care“
This is an absolutely essential part of understanding what is being asked for when we talk about stewardship of Unitarian Universalist congregations and ministry. Each participant has a duty to see that the things which are valuable, both internally and to the world-at-large, are cared for, nurtured, and grown to their full potential. We have the potential to make choices that will affect, on some scale, the rest of the world for as long as it lasts. We have a responsibility to care for liberal religion and manage its messaging, outreach, and contributions to the world. That is a duty that we implore you to take seriously.
Stewardship in a Unitarian Universalist community or ministry is not about payment for services rendered or buying your way into personal reward, in this life or another. It is about investing with your time, sweat, skill, and money in the kind of world you want to live in. It is working to create the world you always hoped for, so that it will be there for future generations. Even if you don’t live to see it, do the work so that those who live after you won’t have to fight the same battles you have.
Stewardship is about the work of building the beloved community, plain and simple; investing yourself in the programs and projects that you believe will do that.
If you believe that the I Am UU project is a ministry that contributes to building the Beloved Community, please consider a pledge to our Patreon Campaign, to fund our ongoing work and development. We are a private ministry, not supported or sponsored by the UUA or any of its constituent divisions or congregations. We rely on individual Unitarian Universalists and others of liberal religious faith to support us and keep our focus on education and understanding rather than merchandising and self-promotion. Whatever congregation or ministry you give to, however you are able to give, please give hopefully and expectantly rather than generously, investing for non-monetary return.