Social Justice: A UU Spiritual Practice
In Unitarian Universalism, spirituality means "living the ordinary life extraordinarily well." It is awakening to the moment and being awake in the moment. It means being engaged in the world, not withdrawing from it. It means believing in life before death, not after.
Unitarian Universalists are deeply spiritual people, or at least they can be. We are spiritual because we ask ourselves what life wants from us, how we should treat each other and the world, what kind of contribution we can and should make, and what will be left after we're gone. We grow spiritually by facing those questions more honestly and deeply, and by discovering our individual answers and discerning our collective responses. From this perspective, social justice is spirituality in action.
Elements of Social Justice as a Spiritual Practice
- Justice-making isn't a means to some end; it is the end.
- We want to be realistic as well as idealistic in our efforts to be compassionate.
- Our spirituality of justice is a collaborative journey not a solo adventure.
- Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We are doing spiritual work when we make a commitment to be a welcoming congregation for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people; when we commit ourselves to study and change individual and institutional attitudes around race, class, and ethnicity; when we raise the issue of accessibility and work towards making our congregations more welcoming to people with disabilities; and when we witness for the rights of the marginalized, the oppressed, and the poor be it immigrants, refugees, farm workers, racial and religious minorities, or women, seniors, and children.
Social justice as a spiritual practice tests our ethical professions, challenges our complacency, and summons our courage. But it is not a recipe for sainthood, merely a prescription for sane, peaceful, and decent living.
We invite you to join our Social Justice Bulletin to keep up-to-date on current issues, upcoming events and opportunities for public witness and service. To subscribe, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may unsubscribe whenever you wish.
If you have questions about social justice at Cedar Lane, please contact Rev. Katie Romano Griffin, Assistant Minister, at email@example.com. She welcomes your questions and wants to hear about what inspires you towards making positive change!
EXPLORE OUR Service & Justice MINISTRIES
On April 2, 2017, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted for Cedar Lane to become a Physical Sanctuary Congregation and the Congregation concurred, voting overwhelmingly to do so at its Annual Congregational Meeting on May 21, 2017. Between those dates, Cedar Lane’s Immigrant Justice Ministry led a period of “discernment” – church-wide learning and discussion on what being a physical sanctuary means, whether we should become one, how it would happen, what form it would take, and how it would impact Cedar Lane and the community.
Cedar Lane's Refugee Support Ministry supports refugees who are in this country legally with official refugee status, primarily from the Middle East and also from Africa and Asia. The refugees have permission to work and some short-term governmental assistance. To achieve refugee status, the individuals and families have been in imminent danger in their home countries.
Cedar Lane supports the “Black Lives Matter” movement through visibility, education, and action. A large “Black Lives Matter” banner is displayed prominently at the front of the church, and smaller signs are displayed at the Cedar Lane and Culver Street entrances. Cedar Lane's Together Diversity Team, in close collaboration with the ministers, provides many opportunities for learning more about the “Black Lives Matter” movement - why our faith calls us to support it, and what we can do within our church, our locality, and ourselves to advance justice.
We aim to inspire and engage people and the public on Environmental Justice. We share a vision of being stewards of the Earth and affirm and support each other as builders of a more just and nurturing world. We made a commitment to our loving community to: advocate, educate and support each other. Our primary work is to 1) Advocate for the Environment, 2) Educate about the Environment, and 3) Sustain Eco-Spirituality & Community Service.
Cedar Lane supported and heavily participated in the Women's March on Washington, DC on January 22, 2017 as part of a larger Unitarian Universalist contigent. Because the vote just happened in January of 2017, we are still working out the ways in which Cedar Lane will focus on this particular social justice issue.