By Rev. Laura Randall on June 3, 2022
For many Unitarian Universalists, the end of June is both the beginning of summer and a time of coming together for the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly (GA). This annual conference is a mixture of business meetings, voting, learning opportunities, public social justice actions, and worship for UUs the world over. After two years of virtual-only events, this year’s GA will be a multi-platform experience, with some folks gathering in person in Portland, Oregon, and others joining virtually. Each General Assembly has a theme around which all workshops and worship services are centered. This year’s theme is Meet the Moment: Reimagining Radical Faith Community.
The challenge and urgency of meeting this moment could not be more clear. The injustices and crises of the past several years have underscored the importance of our shared goal—a world free from oppression where all can realize their full human rights. They also have emphasized just how big a task that is. To meet the enormous challenges of today and build a more just future, we need big ideas and bold change. We must engage in the necessary work of reimagining what is possible. We must fundamentally transform the way things are so that we do not perpetuate systemic inequities and repeat the harms of the past. At UUSC, we believe that the transformational solutions we need come from communities most directly impacted by injustice.
The centering of voices and leadership so often pushed to the margins of institutionalized power in our world is at the core of how we strive to effect change and is crucial to the future of Unitarian Universalism as well. For Unitarian Universalists who are engaging with this year’s GA theme of Reimagining Radical Faith Community, we are being called to move beyond the small space in the public square that we think we may be allowed to inhabit. We are being called to overcome endless hand-wringing and despairing apathy. We are being called to proclaim our message of radical love, radical growth, radical humility, and radical hospitality. We are being called to use our various privileges to help bend the arc of the universe toward justice. Our faith is one of plurality, covenant, constant learning, and determined action. Our world needs these values now more than ever.
At UUSC, we say that we are being called to Repair, Restore, and Reimagine. By working with UUSC’s grassroots partners from around the world who meet our current moment with courage and compassion, UUSC members are putting their faith into action. Using an intersectional lens, an understanding that various kinds of oppression are interrelated, UUSC is addressing climate forced displacement, migrant justice, and disaster justice in more than 20 countries. We also know that the liberation of all people and of the earth itself are connected as well. We may call our areas of work by different names but we recognize that what affects one, affects all. This is another message highlighted by the moment we are meeting now: We are all inseparably interconnected.
UUSC staff will be present both online and in Portland to lead workshops, connect with members, and share the work of UUSC with visitors to our Exhibit Hall booth. We hope to see many of you to say thanks and let you know many of the ways you can be involved in the important work of UUSC as we join with our grassroots partners around the world to meet this moment.