These days, I find myself wondering what things will be like after the pandemic. We have a long way to go, still, it’s difficult to predict all the ways our lives and habits will have fundamentally shifted. When so much is unknown, it’s helpful to focus on the things we do know.
The forms of how we offer our vital, life-saving ministries have and will continue to change. However, the need for religious community that inspires compassion and spiritual growth, the need for multigenerational community in which children and adults experience care and mentorship, the need for meaningful action on behalf of our values – these things will not change.
Another thing that won’t change is our need for one another. I am moved by how the UUA embodies the covenant that congregations make to each other.
Your promise to and support of one another is the reason the UUA exists. It is your financial support that powers our mission to equip congregations, train and support our leaders, and advance our UU values in the world.
The pandemic makes even more real the value and strength of this covenant. In a time when all our congregations were facing the same challenge, the UUA provided life-saving recommendations, coordination, and support. I am proud of the work of the UUA and our role as a strong partner to you as you nurture powerful pastoral and prophetic ministries.
Each year, congregations are asked to financially support the UUA through what we call the Annual Program Fund or APF. Honor Congregations are the congregations who contribute the full requested amount to APF. I want to thank each and every congregation for your generous support of the UUA. Your generosity is a concrete expression of your commitment to the well-being of your sibling congregations and our living tradition as a whole.
Your generosity provides for credentialing for religious professionals, ministerial transition services for congregations in search, worship and education resources like hymnals, meditation manuals, religious education curriculum including Our Whole Lives (OWL), and the incredible justice ministry of Side With Love and UU the Vote. During this pandemic, your gifts made it possible for the UUA to respond to the needs of our people, communities, and country in countless ways.
In gratitude and recognition of the covenant that holds us, the UUA is producing a complete virtual stewardship service, a collaboration of our Worship Web and Stewardship and Development teams. The service will be focused on congregational annual stewardship campaigns and can be used in whole, or in part, for an upcoming Sunday service. The service will be available beginning Friday, March 5th.
As I reflect on the last twelve months, I marvel at the resilient ministry that Unitarian Universalists have offered. How quickly we moved ministries online. How we offered pastoral care and connection virtually. How boldly our congregations responded in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives. How thousands helped UU the Vote – contributing to the largest, most transparent, and accessible election in history.
I think of all the ways our congregations pulled together, collaborating and sharing like never before. The value and need for our life-saving, justice-centered, bold and compassionate ministries will not change. And neither will the need we have for each other. May you feel held by the bonds of love and care that we embody together as a larger family of faith.
With deep gratitude,
Special Section: Black History is American History
Resources for Black History Month
- Organize a book circle to read Breathe: A Letter to My Sons, the UUA’s 2020-2021 Common Read.
- Watch and share a story about the life of Fannie Lou Hamer (YouTube), voting rights activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Shared in simple language with engaging visuals, this video is great for use with multigenerational audiences.
- Read Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 and buy it from a Black-owned bookstore.
- Watch the Democracy Now! feature on the upcoming documentary “My Name is Pauli Murray”. Murray was a Black queer trans legal scholar and religious leader who influenced both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall and their groundbreaking civil rights cases before the Supreme Court.