For second year, Lighting the Chalice defeats ‘Spirit of Life’ in contest that asks UUs to identify the Most UU Thing of All Time.
Isis James lights the chalice during the 2016 General Assembly Opening. (© Nancy Pierce)
For the second year, “Lighting the Chalice” dominated UU World’s “Most UU Thing of All Time” March Madness challenge, handing a 70–30 percent beatdown on runner-up “Spirit of Life” that would make the Connecticut women’s basketball team proud.
During March Madness, fans make predictions for the NCAA basketball tournaments and debate their choices. UU World hosted its own March Madness, presenting sixteen Really UU Things—some serious, some humorous—and asking readers to choose which was the Most UU Thing of All Time. Items were ranked by our estimation of each one’s chances to win and matched up for weekly showdowns.
More than 900 people voted throughout the competition. There were surprises in the early rounds. UU winter holiday Chalica narrowly defeated “The Iowa Sisterhood,” suggesting that more religious educators need to be teaching about the Iowa Sisterhood. Another surprising result saw the 12-seed, the Rev. Wayne Arnason’s memorable “Take Courage” reading, topple the fifth-seeded “9:45 a.m. Forum in the Margaret Fuller Room.” “Adventurous Clapping,” which poked fun at our congregants’ relative lack of rhythm, was the most popular of the more irreverent entries, gaining well over 200 votes before bowing out to the documentary Defying the Nazis.
We’ll be taking suggestions for how to tweak the competition for 2018, because we may need to set “Spirit of Life” and its wings free, and let Lighting the Chalice’s flame extinguish—though not the truth of its two massive victories. Thanks for voting!
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Kenny Wiley is a Denver-based UU World senior editor and program director for congregational engagement at the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. His writing has also appeared in the Boston Globe, the Houston Chronicle, and Skyd Magazine.
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