Tapestry of Faith: Resistance and Transformation: An Adult Program on Unitarian Universalist Social Justice History


Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Worship or centering table
  • Chalice, candle, and lighter or LED battery-operated candle
  • Timepiece (minutes)
  • Chime or bell
  • Copies of Singing the Living Tradition, the UUA hymnbook, for all participants
  • Optional: Cloth for worship/centering table
  • Optional: Microphone
  • Optional: Keyboard or piano

Preparation for Activity

  • Arrange the worship or centering table, including the chalice, so all participants can see it when they are seated.
  • Choose a social justice hymn from Singing the Living Tradition that is familiar to participants. Possibilities include Hymn 119, "Once to Every Soul and Nation;" Hymn 121, "We'll Build a Land;" Hymn 140, "Hail the Glorious Golden City;" Hymn 146, "Soon the Day Will Arrive;" Hymn 157, "Step By Step;" Hymn 162, "Gonna Lay Down My Sword and Shield;" Hymn 168, "One More Step;" and Hymn 170," We are a Gentle, Angry People."
  • Optional: Invite a musician to teach and/or accompany the hymn.

Description of Activity

Invite a participant to light the chalice while you lead a unison reading of Reading 449 from Singing the Living Tradition, "We hallow this time together by kindling the lamp of our heritage."

Lead the group in singing the hymn you have chosen.

Tell the group in this workshop they examine the impact of the Black Power movement on Unitarian Universalism. The story that unfolds will highlight the relationships among local congregations, the Unitarian Universalist Association, and the wider world.

Read these excerpts from two General Assembly Business Resolutions:

Excerpt from the 1963 General Assembly Business Resolution: Admission of Members Without Discrimination excerpt:

Therefore Be It Resolved, that all member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association be charged to declare and practice their faith in the dignity and worth of every person and that all member congregations of our denomination are hereby strongly urged to welcome into their membership and full participation persons without regard to race, color or national origin...

Excerpt from the 1997 General Assembly Business Resolution: Toward an Anti-Racist Unitarian Universalist Association:

BE IT RESOLVED that the 1997 General Assembly urges Unitarian Universalists to examine carefully their own conscious and unconscious racism as participants in a racist society, and the effect that racism has on all our lives, regardless of color.

invite each participant to describe, In a sentence, the difference between the two resolutions.