To Both/And

Changing circumstances require nimble solutions. In a recent Ancient Song Doula Services training that Nora attended, the trainers remarked that for those anticipating the arrival of a baby making goals for birth is recommended over making plans for birth. Because birth, like many major life events, can be messy, chaotic, unpredictable and change at any time. Organizing for long-term change and transformation isn’t any different. We have to keep our eye on the prize while being gentle, flexible and rigorous in our approach. Today we are returning to you with our bi-weekly messages honoring an ancestor to lean on, sharing a prayer for our messy lives and a song to strengthen and soothe. We hope you find them of use to you and yours.


Egbert Ethelred Brown was a pastor who found his political assessment inextricably linked with his faith expression. Originally an Episcopalian, then Methodist lay preacher, Rev. Brown would go on to become a Unitarian minister. Though enrolled at Meadville Theological school in 1907, Rev. Brown was targeted and deported to his home country of Jamaica. Years later, Rev. Brown returned to the United States to complete his studies and go on to become the first Black man to be ordained a Unitarian minister. Rev. Brown was involved in the Jamaican trade union movement, racial justice in the United States and organizing for independence and due to a lack of ongoing financial support, his family relocate to the U.S. in 1920. He would go on to found the Harlem Community Church despite inconsistent support from both the British and Foreign Unitarian Association and the American Unitarian Association that throughout his jobs would require him to take on additional jobs.

Like Ethelred may we be persistent in our vision and creative in our implementation.


For the days when it seems like there can only be one way
For the days when it seems there is no answer
May we live into our questions
Knowing that perceived contradiction can at times offer a solution more beautiful than we could have imagined
That either/or can cause harm
When we are not aligned with our values
And both/and can provide a different way forward
That invites abundance
Transforms individuals
And moves us toward collective visions of liberation


We're appreciation R.LUM.R's invitation to direct loving communication in Be Honest.

With love,


Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen, Senior Strategist, Side with Love

Nora Rasman, Campaign Manager, Side with Love