UU ‘Black Lives Matter’ theology, alternate congregational strategies, and more

A UU ‘Black Lives Matter’ Theology

Kenny Wiley builds a UU Black Lives Matter theology to support his work as an activist.

Right now we are being called—by our ancestors, by our principles, by young black activists across the country—to promote and affirm:
You are young and black, and your life matters just the same.
You stole something, and your life matters just the same.
I have been taught to fear you, and your life matters just the same.
The police are releasing your criminal record, and your life matters just the same.
They are calling you a thug, and your life matters just the same. (A Full Day, March 26)

The Rev. Krista Taves shares her initial thoughts about the DOJ report on the Ferguson police department.

Even as a dedicated white ally, committed to believing the stories of blacks in our city who spoke of feeling preyed upon by law enforcement, I was shocked by what I had read. . . .

When the Ferguson shooting first happened, I was deeply uncomfortable with the slogan “Shut it Down.” I felt it went too far. After reading the Department of Justice Report, I no longer feel this is a radical statement. (And the Stones Shall Cry, March 26)

Alternate congregational strategies

Last week, the Rev. Tom Schade rejected “building religious community” as a valid congregational purpose; this week he proposes five alternate strategies, each very focused and specific.


The purpose of our congregation is to be your point of deep connection to the global movement for justice. (The Lively Tradition, March 26)


Our church serves the community in which we live. People come to our church in order to work with the people of our community as they struggle to live and survive where they are. (March 27)


Our congregation is where you go if you want your children to grow up to be morally and ethically strong and clear AND open-minded and curious about the world of differences. We are really one big, all ages cooperative Sunday School. (March 28)


We are a theological center of religious liberalism. Our purpose is to challenge all theologies and interpretations that oppress and bind the spirit, especially the dominant religions in our community. (March 29)


We are a church that invites you to make the profound spiritual commitment to the health of the Earth and her people. The planet is in the midst of a catastrophic ecological crisis and she needs people to organize their lives around making a difference in that crisis. (March 30)

Coming in and going out

The Rev. Chip Roush shares opening words for worship.

Come in and be seated,
all of you with heavy hearts.
Those who have had a difficult morning,
or an exhausting week;
those who are frustrated,
those who are this close to giving up on something,
or someone;
come in, and sit down,
and loosen the hold of your cares for an hour. (So May We Be, March 30)

After a youth campout, the Rev. Dan Harper has a suggestion for congregations.

More and more, I’m coming to believe that if organized religion is going to help fix global climate weirdness, we have to get out of our buildings more. Not that we should get rid of our buildings—we need our indoor spaces to accommodate a wide range of human person, including elders. But we also need to do more outdoor ministries. (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, March 28)

A matter of taste

The Rev. Dr. David Breeden compares religious belief to cilantro.

[Belief] in a god or gods: It’s a feeling, a taste.
It’s yummy or soapy.
So . . . perhaps, like cilantro, the choice to believe or not is best left up to the individual. For some, it’s yummy. For some, soapy: Nature, nurture.
But fussing over it? Fuhgettaboudit. (Quest for Meaning, April 2)

The Rev. Kit Ketcham doesn’t believe in a personal God who holds the strings of the universe—and yet she prays.

I pray because the universe has proved to be a faithful and reliable yet mysterious friend, which sometimes lashes out—not because I am a bad person but because I have not recognized or prepared for the consequences of non-mindful living. (Ms. Kitty’s Saloon and Road Show, April 2)