Today is Day 8 of the Thirty Days of Love. Today’s action is to reflect on what aspects of the campaign have spoken to you the most so far, share that reflection with a family member or friend, and encourage them to join in. Click here for more resources, family actions, and more! Click here to sign up for the daily Thirty Days of Love emails.
Time flies–we have reached the end of our first week of the Thirty Days of Love and what a journey it has been already! Over the course of the last week, we have honored the legacies of inspiring justice-makers from Dr. King and Cesar Chavez, to those who have worked for LGBTQ equality and reproductive justice.
Today, we ask that you take some time to think about what we have discussed so far. What messages resonated the most? How might you continue to honor legacy throughout the rest of the Thirty Days? Can you carve out some time each day to journal, light a candle in the morning for a quiet moment of reflection, or write a note to someone who inspires you?
Tomorrow, we will embark on the second week of the Thirty Days and focus on how we can “Think Interfaith” in our work for love and justice. For the moment, let us ground ourselves spiritually and prepare to undertake the rest of this journey together.
Standing on the Side of Love
Today is Day 7 of the Thirty Days of Love. Today’s action is to join our Facebook chat today at 4pm ET/1pm PT. Click here for more resources, family actions, and more! Click here to sign up for the daily Thirty Days of Love emails.
I hope you are as excited as I am about the first week of our Thirty Days of Love–what a journey it has already been! I have been so moved to read the words of our partners, from Michelle Alexander encouraging us to start a conversation on mass incarceration, to celebrating the 40th anniversary of Roe, to hearing from Cesar Chavez’s granddaughter. Wow.
Now, we want to hear from you! Join our chat on Facebook today at 4pm ET/1pm PT and tell us what you envision for the future of our campaign.
We want to talk about how we can continue to not only make our work as loving as possible, but also how to give it some pizazz, some spice. Never done a Facebook chat before? No worries–simply visit our Facebook page at the appropriate time and add a comment to our post introduing the chat.
Here at the Standing on the Side of Love Campaign HQ, we shorten our really fantastic (but long) name down to SSL, or the first letters of the prominent words of the campaign. The fun part? We pronounce SSL as “sizzle” and it is a reminder to us to keep what we do fun, and fresh, and well, sizzling! We’ll share these and other fun facts during our chat, so join us today.
If you can’t join the chat, please feel free to email us at email@example.com with questions in advance and we can share our responses both during the chat, and directly to you.
Let’s sizzle together,
Standing on the Side of Love
One couldn’t ignore the Presidential Inauguration here in the nation’s Capitol. So at All Souls Church in Washington, DC, we held our own inaugural ball on Sunday to celebrate all the hard work of the election and to rededicate ourselves to the challenges ahead. As our Senior Minister the Rev. Rob Hardies says, “We’re not just inaugurating a president, we’re inaugurating a people.”
The live band kept the dance floor full as Unitarian Universalists and others dressed in better-than-Sunday-best danced, talked, and laughed with each other. Meanwhile, in the corner of the hall, we captured snapshots of attendees with the President. But this wasn’t just any photobooth! The banner above the (cardboard) President read: “Mr. President, I pledge my commitment to….” Our distinguished guests (aka, congregants) held signs for our priority justice issues. The photobooth added another element of fun to the party (and to coffee hour after worship that morning), but it also reminded us that it’s time to recommit ourselves to build a movement for peace, environmental justice, migrant rights, affordable housing, and more.
The photobooth reminded us that now is not the time to sit idly by, watching to see if Obama can continue the legacy of “Seneca, Selma, and Stonewall,” but rather, now is the time to rededicate ourselves to bending the arc of the universe toward justice, together.
Yes, we plan to deliver the photos to the White House, but more than that, we will follow up with all those who got their photo taken (check out some of our photos here) to make sure they’re engaged with our justice ministries. Together, we will keep working to “inaugurate a people” and to build a movement of spiritually grounded, strategic, and fun-loving people of faith.
Cathy Rion Starr
Director of Social Justice Ministries
All Souls Church – Unitarian
Today is Day 6 of the Thirty Days of Love. Today’s action is to think about who—from past to present—inspires your own justice-making. Click here for more resources, family actions, and more! Click here to sign up for the daily Thirty Days of Love emails.
Growing up, I was in awe of my grandfather, César Chávez, as I watched his tireless work for the fair treatment of farm workers—an unwavering dedication that changed the lives of millions of people. My grandfather taught immigrants to read, orchestrated massive strikes, advocated for better wages and working conditions, and engaged in civil disobedience. The way he lived his life inspired me to make a lifetime commitment of my own to civil rights, the labor movement, and community organizing. During this week, when the beautiful Standing on the Side of Love community honors the legacy of those social justice leaders who came before us, I am proud to share how my grandfather inspired me.
My grandfather believed in giving power to the people so they could stand up for themselves. For strength, he drew upon Catholic teachings about goodwill, and he engaged in several spiritual fasts to affirm his personal commitment to non-violence. He once said, “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.” Indeed, my grandfather organized across lines of religion and culture. He cared about many disenfranchised groups, speaking out for other unions, against racism, and for LGBTQ rights, animal rights, and peace.
Honoring my grandfather’s legacy, I spent eight years as political director of United Farmworkers Union, the organization he helped co-found over 40 years ago. I also became active in fighting Prop. 8, performing commitment ceremonies to set an example of Latino community support for marriage equality, and helped form the Latino and African American Leadership Alliance to bring two historically disenfranchised communities together to forge peace and unity.
I also draw my inspiration from people all around me today, such as the organizers of Alianza Campesina. In a few months, I will bring 100 women involved in this farmworker women coalition to Washington, D.C. for a U.S. government interagency briefing where they will tell their stories—about wage and hour violations, hardships faced by those who are undocumented, and sexual harassment and domestic abuse.
During this Thirty Days of Love, as you embark on your spiritual journey for social justice, join me in thinking about who—from past to present—inspires your own justice-making.
Carry that inspiration with you as you continue to create incredible change in our world.
Sí, se puede,
Christine Chávez serves as the Farmworker Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a new position in the USDA focusing on how the Department can better serve the farmworker population.More >
Today is Day 5 of the Thirty Days of Love. Today’s action is to honor Courageous Love in your community. Click here for more resources, family actions, and more! Click here to sign up for the daily Thirty Days of Love emails.
On Sunday, we got to help kick off the second annual Thirty Days of Love by awarding Courageous Love Awards to leaders at First Unitarian Church of Baltimore. “Honor Legacy” is the theme for this first week of the campaign, and it is an apt touchstone for our historic congregation. When Rev. William Ellery Channing delivered “the Baltimore sermon” from our pulpit in 1819, he shook religion at its core and defined an American Unitarianism that was serious, rational, and progressive.
It was a joy to celebrate the stories of our congregational leaders. As a group, they worked to pass marriage equality—by popular vote!—this past November in Maryland, and have also advocated for the rights of LGBTQ people for decades. Award recipients Sally Wall and Pat Montley were our public spokespersons, receiving messaging training, addressing the media, and organizing other congregations to mobilize for equality. Scott MacLeod was our principal cheerleader in the congregation, urging our people to volunteer at phone banks and door-to-door canvassing, and leading a square dance fundraiser.
Fighting for human rights was nothing new for award recipient Charles Blackburn. In 1961, he was a Freedom Rider in the south, challenging local segregation laws by riding interstate buses. In 2004, Charles and his partner were one of nine couples in Deane & Polyak v. Conoway, the suit for equal marriage rights in Maryland. That suit was lost in 2007. Our congregation’s response? We hung a banner proclaiming “Civil Marriage is a Civil Right” as a testament to our commitment to equal rights for all. This past Sunday, acknowledging that marriage equality could not have been won without our UU Legislative Ministry of Maryland, we were able to take the banner down with pride.
Any organization or individual can give Courageous Love Awards to those who exhibit “courageous love.” This is an opportunity to recognize the amazing change-makers in your community and inspire future social justice work. Click here for more info on Courageous Love Awards.
Together, let’s continue to put our faith into action, and stand on the side of love!
Rev. David Carl Olson
First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, Maryland
PS: The Standing on the Side of Love campaign hopes your congregation is participating in Share the Love Sunday! The SSL website has some helpful resources for planning your service, taking a collection to support the Unitarian Universalist Association, and discussing what it means for your congregation to rejoice in community and stand on the side of love. Thanks for your generosity on February 17!More >