Unleashing courageous leadership and collective power

to realize a just and loving world.

A Message from the Executive Director - April 3, 2017

April 03, 2017 9:30 PM | Anonymous



April 3, 2017

A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Ones, 

These have been turbulent times for Unitarian Universalists.  We have been having a widespread conversation about how white supremacy lives in the bones of our faith's structures and institutions, spurred on most recently by a controversy over hiring at the Unitarian Universalist Association.  We have had to grapple with our understanding of sin and evil, as we watched a prominent UU minister arrested last week on charges of possession of child pornography.  More locally, we have also mourned as budget cuts have forced our MidAmerica Region to let one of their beloved staff members go.  

All of these UU-specific heartbreaks come, of course, in the context of the national, statewide, and local climate of fear and injustice that dominate not just the news, but our spirits in these times.  Beloveds, if your heart is aching, I am with you.

In moments like this, the thing that keeps me from walking away, giving up, pulling the covers over my head.... is the daily reminder from my community--my colleagues, my family, my neighbors, those of you with whom I am so privileged to work regularly-- that we are engaged in a long-term struggle to build the Beloved Community, both within and beyond our own faith.  We are part of a long line of those who have been able to mourn that which is broken in the world, while also seeing enough of the precious beauty in it right here and now to know that another world is possible.  That we drink from wells dug by our ancestors long ago, and that we are called to do our part in planting the seeds of trees in whose shade we will never sit.  

In that spirit, beloveds, I invite all of us to hold the brokenness together, at the same time as we strengthen our muscles for prophetic vision and action in service of that world for which we yearn, but that we have never yet seen.  I leave you with these words from Catholic Bishop Ken Untener, from his "Archbishop Romero Prayer: A Step Along the Way:"

This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for [Grace] to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.

In faith and solidarity, 

Rev. Ashley Horan, Executive Director

Save the Date for MUUSJA's Statewide Social Justice Summit!


Sustaining Faithful Action for Justice & Solidarity

May 19-20, 2017 -- First Universalist Church of Minneapolis

How are we--progressive people of faith--called to respond to the urgent needs of this political moment?  Why does it matter that we approach our work as covenantal people, and as members of congregations and a shared religious tradition?  What does solidarity look like with people who are most directly impacted by injustice?  And how do we sustain our spirits, our energy, our communities when there is so much to drain us and fill us with despair?  

Join MUUSJA, in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, for Resistance & Resilience: Sustaining Faithful Action for Justice & Solidarity in a Hurting World!  We will explore these questions and more, with the help of local and national organizers, religious leaders, artists, musicians, and activists.  The program will include moving worship, plenary discussions about the spiritual-political times we are in, collaborative strategizing for action and impact, a wide variety of workshops led by experienced justice leaders, and opportunities to build relationships with one another through reflection and discussion.  Confirmed presenters include Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout, Alex Kapitan, Nora Rasman, Rev. Sean Dennison, Rev. Kelli Clement, Rev. Steve Newcom, Liz Loeb, Arif Mamdani, Rev. Ashley Harness, and Rev. Ashley Horan -- with more presenters being confirmed soon!  

This event is open to Unitarian Universalists and beyond; in particular, we encourage Social Justice teams from our congregations around the state to consider traveling together to participate in this powerful, connective, capacity building event!  Scholarships will be available for those who need financial assistance.  

Full schedule and presenter lineup coming soon; registration opens April 10.  Stay tuned for more details!  

Can you host one of MUUSJA's summer college interns?

MUUSJA is thrilled to announce that we will be welcoming two college interns this summer, brought to us through a partnership with the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice. These two phenomenal people will be working half-time with MUUSJA this summer, for approximately 10 weeks from June-August. We are so excited!

In order to make these internships possible, we are seeking UUs in the Twin Cities area who are willing to offer home hospitality to an intern! We are likely looking for two host families, but if you have a separate apartment or guest house that two interns could share, we'd love to hear about that, too. Each intern needs a private room in a home located near public transportation (our interns won't have cars, and will likely be working largely in Minneapolis). Interns may or may not share meals with your family (it would be wonderful to build a relationship with these young folks and help them get to know our cities, too!), but should have access to a kitchen to cook for themselves as necessary.

If you or someone in your congregation would be interested in potentially hosting one of these college students who are passionate about building a more just and loving world, please contact MUUSJA Executive Director Rev. Ashley Horan.  Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Minnesota LGBTQ Lobby Day is April 20!

Our friends at OutFront MN invite all people to join together for LGBTQ Lobby day on Thursday, April 20, from 9am-4:30pm.  From theirInvitation and Registration Form

"Show up and show your support for LGBTQ Equity in Minnesota! Let's gather at the Capitol to rally and meet with lawmakers to speak out against efforts in Minnesota to discriminate against LGBTQ Minnesotans and to support access to health care for trans people, a ban on conversion therapy and more. This is our day to demonstrate statewide support for LGBTQ equity! 

Join hundreds of other LGBTQ people and allies as we fight for our rights and ensure the gains we have made are not stopped away. The day starts out with civic engagement workshops led by some of the fabulous people on the frontlines of our fight. From 9am to 11am engage with leaders in our community on how to best advocate for yourself and others. 11am to noon there should be food trucks for you to grab lunch and then at noon the rally kicks off!  

Hear some of the leaders in our movement and even a Congressperson speak to how far we have come and where we are headed. Then stick around to speak DIRECTLY to your legislator about the issues important to you!  We are focusing on ending conversion therapy, ensuring there is no discrimination in the workplace or in public spaces for LGBTQ people, protecting our trans youth, and so much more.  If you can't join us for the whole day, that ok. Just make sure you don't miss the rally!"

  • Home
  • Media
  • Blog
  • A Message from the Executive Director - April 3, 2017
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software