Day 5: Leaning Into the Dream Every Day
Today is Day 5 of the Thirty Days of Love. Today’s action is to take your next step toward building multicultural community. Click here for resources, family actions, and more! Click here to sign up for the daily Thirty Days of Love emails.
This week, thousands of us participating in the 30 Days of Love campaign will be especially mindful of the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
His is a heritage of faith and hope, laughter and tears—that can only be moved from dream to reality by our actions. Each day that we lean into Dr. King’s vision of a multicultural America, we move one step closer to making his Dream come true. I see glimpses of the Dream in action nearly every day: a new grocery store opens in a needy neighborhood, a tall dark-skinned young man is the lifeguard (not the custodian) at the YWCA where I swim laps, I smile as white couple plays “pass the baby” with their beautiful Ethiopian daughter during a church potluck supper.
Yes, I see glimpses of the Dream, but that is not enough. I want to live the Dream every day.
Wanting to live that Dream is a fundamental piece of my call into Unitarian Universalist ministry; and as the Resident Minister at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I am blessed to be part of an intentional multicultural congregation that is deeply involved in taking steps to make the Dream come true.
Our intentionality manifests itself both inside and outside of our community. Internally, it shows up in the music played and the songs we sing together, in the readings chosen for Sunday worship services and the poetry given voice at our weekly Wednesday night chapel. Externally, I see it at events like the conference All Souls hosted last November. The UUA’s Mosaic Makers: Leading Vital Multicultural Congregations Conference was attended by more than 120 people from twenty UU congregations engaged in intentional multicultural ministry. As I shared in my feedback to the conference organizers, the conference was a place of passionate people, engaged deeply in the work of learning how to embrace and create true multicultural welcome.
There is joy and beauty, pain and anxiety, when we take part in this kind of transformative ministry. When we lean into the action required to make Dr. King’s Dream a reality, we come up against the blessings and challenges of working in and for a diverse community. Yet we remain committed to something far greater than ourselves. All Souls’ Centennial Vision opens with this line: “Our church is an embodiment and celebration of the world as we hope it will one day become.”
That is a big vision, let me tell you. But the good news I want to share is that intentional multicultural community starts small and can be evoked by anyone, whether or not you belong to a congregation. One small step All Souls took was to start hosting potluck dinners where attendees bring food from their families or backgrounds and then talk about the significance of the dish they brought. This combination of sharing food and talking story deepens relationships and builds community.
Today, let’s commit ourselves to taking whatever small or large step we must, to make the Dream into reality. In a 1957 sermon, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
My questions are these:
- What did you do for others today?
- What will you do for others tomorrow or the next day?
- How are you leaning into the Dream?
During these 30 Days of Love, how will you help create the world as you want it to become?
Love & Blessings,
Carol Thomas Cissel
Resident Minister at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma