Nearly sixty-five years ago, a Unitarian named Monroe Husbands began crisscrossing the United States, placing ads in newspapers that read, “Are you a Unitarian without knowing it?” Like a Unitarian Johnny Appleseed, he planted fellowships wherever he could gather a small group of interested people. One of those fellowships, in Anchorage, Alaska, was where I first became a UU.
Our ambivalence about sharing our faith is a powerful part of our UU DNA, but it’s time to turn off those genes. We don’t have to be pushy. We can simply show up, in public ways, wearing our faith on our sleeves. We can just stop hiding the chalice under a basket.
This week’s stories mention Unitarian Universalism in passing. I hope they show that sharing our faith can be as natural as breathing.
This is my last Media Roundup column for UU World. In the fall, I will begin a master’s program in clinical mental health counseling. And yes, I will wear my UU faith on my sleeve.
—The Rev. Heather Christensen
Unitarian Universalists in the news
Ashli Shockley is running for alderman in Tullahoma, Tennessee. In her local newspaper’s “meet the candidates” interview, she identifies herself as a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tullahoma—and leaves it as that. (Tullahoma News, June 30)
The Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson and Dr. Janice Marie Johnson, sisters, were identified as UUs in an article about residents of Long Island, New York, and spiritual creativity. "We're all born with that creative spirit. And that is often revealed in a religious setting,” Hope Johnson said. UU Ellen Mandelbaum, a member of Community Church in Manhattan, is also interviewed.(Newsday, June 25)
Three friends from Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, were surprised to discover they had more than their shared faith in common. Dani Lockwood, Judy Thornber, and Mary Kay Schleiter learned this past year that they had all lived through police violence at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. (Kenosha News, June 24)
Editors’ Note: We are immensely grateful to Heather for her work on the Media Roundup. By poring through and compiling online news stories, she helped expand our timely coverage of the meaningful work of UUs and their congregations in their communities and the world at large. We wish her the very best in her new endeavors.