It has been said Unitarian Universalism is not a religious tradition with a creed, but rather a religious movement that has always wedded social justice work to theology. The Social Justice Council asked Rev. Alan to share his reflections on our UU values, our mission of social justice, and the call to us as UUers.
“Justice is the ongoing, never-ending journey to remake community by strengthening relationships.” — Marvin Ellison
As Unitarian Universalists, the core values of our faith call upon us to stand in the gap between the world as it is and the world that can be, should be, must be. We are not merely observers of a wide world, we are participants. When we experience, learn about or bear witness to suffering, especially that caused by human neglect or systemic oppression, we naturally want to address it. We cannot be whole human beings without finding ways to move with others to call the wider society into alignment with the deeply cherished value of “Justice, Equity, and Compassion in all human relations.”
Our experience of injustice varies depending on our social identities and daily experiences. For those of us with one or more forms of privilege, the challenge is to become and stay aware of how privilege operates in our lives and institutions. For those of us with non-dominant identities, our work includes finding ways to sustain ourselves in the face of systemic bias, exclusion and inequity.
By responding to the stirrings of compassion and conscience within and among us, it is an integral part of our faith to be engaged in social action and social justice — building relationships, helping others, and organizing to change laws and culture. Through this work, we as individuals are changed, and we hold faith in the possibility of social transformation.
A rich part of our faith is in the human capacity to respond to the injustice in our midst so that we can contribute to what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called the Beloved Community. The Beloved Community is a society where all people have the opportunity to thrive and cultivate meaningful lives.
Would you agree that the central human task is to learn to love and to love courageously? This kind of love fosters growth and wholeness, that heals disconnection, and guides us, indeed compels us, to collectively attend to brokenness in the world. It’s the kind of love that calls us to bring our actions in accord with our most deeply held values. This kind of love urges us to make connections for meaningful change.
Join us in helping to build a sustainable world, to support human rights, and to protect the most vulnerable among us. When Unitarian Universalists live into the sacred work of engaging social action, we unleash courageous love. We aim for the horizon of significant culture change and find gratitude in the journey of touching one heart at a time.