30 Days of Love - What's Coming in 2017

Launching #ReviveLove at Highlander Research & Education Center, September 2016

"This winter, we are returning with 30 Days of Love. We know that many of us have met the last several weeks with rage, fear, cynicism, desperation, anxiety, and confusion. Many of us are looking at this moment and seeing that the stakes are as high as they have ever been - from climate justice, to LGBTQ justice, to gender justice, to economic justice, to Black liberation to immigrant justice - this moment is about everything we value, everything that matters to us, the very questions of who we are and our existence. 

Many of us also feel that the moment requires more from us. That there will not be room for our pettiness, our egos, our impatience, our self-pity. There will not be room for doing things the way they have always been done, in the ways in which we are most comfortable. There will be no room for any of us to think we have the answers alone. As UUA President Peter Morales wrote about last week, this is not only about social justice (or our social justice ministries) this is about all we do and our deepest values."

We know there are a lot of messages circulating right now. A flurry of strategies rushing to solutions. I know that many of us are hunkering down. Many of you, like me, are afraid for our families and those we love because they (and we) are Muslims, undocumented, of color, LGBTQ, women. Many of us who are white also fear what an atmosphere of encouraged and amplified hate will mean for the souls of our white children and grandchildren. Who will they become (and who will we continue to be) if these are the examples of what it means to be white? To be a white man? 

At Standing on the Side of Love, we believe we are are entering a time where we need every ounce of spiritual muscle that we can muster (or find) to do the work ahead of us. We led Standing on the Side of Love in 2016 in a way that centered deep partnerships, developing leaders so they flourish, trust building, widening the circle, and sharing the wisdom we find in community organizing with the world. We use the theme of fortification because it centers the spiritual work at hand: not by any of us alone will it be borne, and it will need deep collaboration and support to thrive and grow now. The work will require us working deeply with one another: practicing what we preach, showing that the courage to face the time ahead can be as close the next pew over, or down the street if we are willing to do the face-to-face work. 

We can be leaders in our communities in ways that seek to collaborate and long to see other aligned organizations and leaders succeed. We can lead in ways that are relentless because love is not a feeling but an action, and love will propel us towards building community, protecting those marginalized, and creating alternatives. Radical honesty and humility are needed because the beginning of 2017 is not a new chapter. It is a quite new journey.

In the face of that new journey, we are exploring what it means for Unitarian Universalism to be a nurturing, humble and steady hand on the side of justice in 2017. Each week we will share tools and resources to help congregations reflect, learn and act around themes of fortification. From small group ministry resources to a calendar for activities across age, watch here for more information.

As you prepare for 30 Days of Love 2017, we’re excited to share the following with you:

  • Courageous Love Awards to show love to organizers and activists taking bold action for movement in your community
  • Resources for Share the Love Sunday to take a special collection in support of Standing on the Side of Love working to bridge social movements and Unitarian Universalism.

  • Send a postcard of solidarity and support to local organizers. Download and print these postcards on card stock and send them to folks you’re building with in your community - do this at home or set up a table during coffee hour for folks to color & write messages of love together. Regular postage rates apply.

  • A Spotify mixtape with some fave tunes from getting us through these times

  • An Invitation to check out Fortification, our bi-weekly podcasts including conversations about spiritual sustenance and meaning with organizers and activists.

  • This short video primer on deescalation and interventions you may find of use to your work

Stay tuned on our mailing list for weekly messages from us around the themes of fortification including relationships and movements [week of January 16], covenants and movements [week of January 23], transformation and movements [week of January 30] and commitment and sustenance [week of February 6]. We’ll be sending along weekly messages accompanied by additional resources as well as clips from our Organizing on the Side of Love online course that complement with the message.

We’re so grateful to be on this journey with you.

With love,

Caitlin Breedlove, Campaign Director and Nora Rasman, Campaign Coordinator, Standing on the Side of Love