In Good Conscience, Democratically (Thu Feb 15)

Cindy Davidson, Ministerial Intern

The sign at the front door that's greeted me since I returned to CUUC two weeks ago reads: Economic Inequity: Shall CUUC make a Statement?"

Make a statement? Most days, my inner response is, "Sure! Why not?"

But today, in the aftermath of the many statements being made in the media, on my Facebook threads and in emails about the need for sensible gun control, making a statement begins to feel so utterly insufficient. Certainly, those statements that merely life up "prayers and thoughts" on behalf of those who have suffered are inadequate. Just like our "American problem" of gun violence and yet another horrific mass shooting in another public school, confronting the problem of economic inequity in all its complexity can seem so overwhelming and resistant to solutions. Why bother with a statement?

One of the things we do well as Unitarian Universalists is to call ourselves and others into accountability around an issue and to deliberate upon how we might take responsible action, individually and collectively. Even as we honor and hold the pain of others, we move forward towards realizing a more fair and just world with our commitment to "deeds over creeds." And, our process is crucial to our endeavors.

I was reminded of the value of the democratic process within our faith community when I joined in the latest congregational forum to discuss the denominational statement crafted and passed by the delegates at our 2017 General Assembly. As participants here raised particular points and language choices in the original statement, they were discussed and then either modified or affirmed by the vote of those present.  This is the kind of collective justice-making that asks us to wrestle with the tension between upholding our individual, personal convictions and practices and upholding the ideal ends and good of the collective body.

I found myself wondering, "Is debate and discussion enough?  How can the process of re-crafting this statement help us best serve the mission and vision of CUUC? Will the congregation come to agreement on possible actions?" And, of course, the biggest question .... "How might we move from a  statement and its many calls to actions into responsible action that impacts the larger community?"

Take a look -- whether it's your first, second or third -- at the statement, as currently amended.

Ask yourself, What speaks to me?

Where do I see CUUC's mission and vision aligning with the statement?

How does this work with others in the denomination inspire or focus my individual efforts and our congregational commitments?

I want to hear what you think!

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