Final four! What’s the most UU thing of all time?

Final four! What’s the most UU thing of all time?

Which two Extremely UU Things will go on to the championship round in our March Madness quest for the Most UU Thing of All Time?

Kenny Wiley
Flaming chalice at 2013 General Assembly

Can the flaming chalice make it to the championship round? (© Nancy Pierce)

© Nancy Pierce


It’s Final FoUUr Time! (Sorry—we coUUldn’t resist.) (Just this once, Kenny. —Ed.)

You’ve winnowed our March Madness field from sixteen Really Unitarian Universalist Things to just four. Some Really UU Things went by the wayside in the quarterfinals. Now you have until Monday morning to select the finalists for the epic showdown for the title Most UU Thing of All Time.

Will Women in Ministry clip “Spirit of Life”’s wings? Will LGBTQ Advocacy extinguish Lighting the Chalice’s fiery run? It’s up to you.

Let’s meet the contestants once again, with some refurbished introductions.

Bracket 1

(1) “Spirit of Life”

You’ve said in Facebook comments that its pace is slow, even funeral march–like. So far, though, nothing has come close to stopping “Spirit of Life” in the voting. Many congregations sing it every week, with some adding Spanish and others American Sign Language. As Kimberly French put it: “No other song, no other prayer, no other piece of liturgy is so well known and loved in Unitarian Universalism as ‘Spirit of Life’ by Carolyn McDade.”

(5) Women in Ministry

There’s a second grader in my church who didn’t know “boys were allowed” to be UU ministers. Women in ministry is almost a norm for UUs—the majority of UU ministers today identify as women—although that certainly doesn’t mean Unitarian Universalists have “solved” sexism in our faith communities. From the Iowa Sisterhood to the Women and Religion Resolution (which led to our gender-inclusive Seven Principles) to leadership in UU communities around the globe, women in ministry make Unitarian Universalism come alive.

Bracket 2

(2) LGBTQ Advocacy

Our support for marriage equality and LGBTQ lives has deep roots and gave us the “Standing on the Side of Love” rallying cry we use for public witness. The Massachusetts lawsuit that brought marriage equality to the first state, for example, is named for its UU plaintiffs. Today UUs are reminding us that the work for justice for LGBTQ folks did not, and will not, end with same-sex marriage.

(6) Lighting the Chalice

The flaming chalice symbol is so ubiquitous in UU faith communities that your UU World selection committee nearly overlooked it when seeding. (Sixth, clearly, was too low!) Lighting the chalice is often the first way UU children participate in worship. It is, to put it simply, what we do. The symbol was used by the Unitarian Service Committee while rescuing refugees in World War II, and evolved into the ritual around which UU communities center today.

How to play: Log in to your Facebook account before you cast your vote in this contest. (One ballot per person!) When you click “Start Voting” below, you'll see two images in each round, from the list above. Make your selection to go on to the next round. Enter your name after the last round and click "Enter" to record your vote.

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