Final four: The most UU thing of all time, MMXVII edition

Choir members raise their hands during the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 General Assembly.

It’s time to pick the finalists in our March Madness quest for the Most UU Thing of All Time.

Kenny Wiley

Image: The crowd is making some noise for the UU March Madness semifinals. (© Nancy Pierce)

© 2012 Nancy Pierce


Skip ahead to vote or meet the contestants. Comment on our Facebook page.

Which would UU choose, friends (No, Kenny, “UU” is not yet a singular pronoun. —Ed.): General Assembly’s tough-to-top worship, congregational banners, and fanny packs, or the majestic thrill of lighting the chalice as your minister reads comforting, sometimes-inspiring words?

And how would UU decide (Did you miss my previous note? —Ed.) between one of the toughest moments our faith has ever faced—a “controversy” over black empowerment that former UUA President William G. Sinkford prefers to call a 1960s “fit of white entitlement”—and “Spirit of Life,” the hymn that, week after week, seems to encompass best who we are and why we gather?

As Han Solo says, “Good luck. You’re gonna need it.” (Will our readers recognize the pop culture reference? —Ed.)

It’s semifinals time! You’ve whittled sixteen Like, Really Really UU Things (I can’t believe I let you do this. —Ed.) down to four. You have until March 16 to help us, your trusty UU World editors (Speak for yourself. —Ed.), decide what the two finalists will be.

Vote below, and don’t forget to spread the word!

Bracket 1

Lighting the chalice
© Nancy Pierce

(1) Lighting the chalice. Most UU communities do this simple ritual every week. Will this UU staple repeat its 2016 championship as Most UU Thing Ever, or will our anti-institutional streak topple it?

General Assembly banners
© Nancy Pierce

(4) General Assembly. My dream is one day to publish a “UU GA Fashion Guide” highlighting the sock-and-sandal combos, fanny packs, and terrific hats we wear to our annual convention. The worship, preaching, and music are SO good, though!

Bracket 2

seizing microphones at 1969 General Assembly
© 1969 Steven H. Hansen/UUA

(6) Black empowerment controversy. Many black UUs and other UUs of color argue the late 1960s hold painful and revealing truths about our faith. Black Lives of UU helps us learn from those mistakes in the Black Lives Matter era.

Hymn 123
© Christopher L. Walton

(2) “Spirit of Life.” Kimberly French wrote about the 2016 runner-up: “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.”