Recently one of my colleagues called me and wanted to know if all the “good things” that he had been hearing about the Boulder Church were true. I quickly responded (not knowing just what he had heard via the UUA “grapevine”) that “Yes, the Boulder Church is all that and more!” And then I asked him just what he was referring to.
He said that he had heard that Boulder was actually engaged in social justice and change and not just “talking the talk” (like many of our Unitarian Universalist churches). I assured him that Boulder was indeed “walking the talk” and I recounted how our Immigration Ministry has companioned undocumented immigrants, sponsored a BorderLinks trip, attends the monthly vigil at the ICE Detention Center, and how our congregation is a supporting church to First Unitarian Denver’s New Sanctuary Program.
With a sense of pride, I also recounted how our Climate Action Ministry is making a difference in our own community, working with other congregations across the country, and partnering with the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, and helping our congregation make the necessary steps to divest our endowment funds from investments that are connected with fossil fuel companies. I listed the Young Adult LGBTQAI initiatives to helping our congregation get re-certification as a “Welcoming Congregation” since it has been over a decade since obtaining that designation and most of our members have joined since then.
I was on a roll as I recounted the All Church Social Change events of the past several years, our Social Change Small Group Ministry model, and the recent improvements to our facilities to become more energy efficient and how I now see in the parking lot on Sundays more energy efficient vehicles and folks biking or walking to church on Sundays.
I went on and on until my friend called a halt to my list. He acknowledged that he was impressed and I reminded him that his congregation could do all of the same things that Boulder is involved in, that it just takes folks interested and committed to making a difference. Boulder has those individuals – folks who are willing to do the hard work to help change happen.
And then we talked about the usual pattern of most Unitarian Universalists talking the right talk but not going to the next step of actually following through with action. We, as a denomination, do have that tendency and we keep our social justice work to an intellectual exercise rather than a heart-felt commitment to truly make a difference by our actions.
After our phone conversation I found myself feeling very prideful about our Boulder congregation and the dedicated efforts of so many individuals to put our values into practice and how together, as a congregation, we are working to change the world by putting our Unitarian Universalist faith into action.
Members of the Boulder Church – you should feel proud of yourselves as well! We are doing what our faith calls upon us to do. Feel very, very good about that!