Evangelism and Unitarian Universalism, by Tina Simson

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Can you imagine sharing something you love with your friends and family? Can you imagine bringing a group of friends together to showcase wonderful things? Are you interested in bringing riches into your own life? No, I’m not talking about Tupperware, fancy baskets or gourmet food. I’m talking about Unitarian Universalism. Would you go door to door to spread the good news? I recently asked some church members that same question; one friend said she’d rather dig her eyes out with a spoon!
Well, we UU’s have traditionally been an insular bunch and frankly that’s causing our denomination to shrink at a time when the country and the world needs our voice as loud as we can make it. As part of my role as Church Trustee, I recently read The Almost Church and began to see our role in the world differently and came to understand what seems to be attracting members to our doors. Let me tell you, it’s not Canasta night. it is vitality, innovative social action and an essential voice in the community.

Recently our home congregation received a grant from the UUA to support our Life Now Radio effort. Life Now Radio is a venue offered jointly by our home congregation First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY, and the First Universalist Churches of Rochester. Rev Kaaren Anderson from First Unitarian is the host and she skillfully explores diverse and engaging topics on a weekly radio program. You can listen to the broadcast or download it onto your computer or IPod and listen to the them whenever you have a spare moment. They often accompany my morning walk. Well, the UU grant will help Kaaren and her team spread the word and using Life Now Radio. It will mean going door to door. Whenever other religious denominations knock on my door, they seem elated because they have found answers to life’s most challenging questions. But don’t we have those same answers? Why can’t we rejoice from the mountaintop and share our message, so relevant in the world today? We could shout about:

The inherent worth and dignity of every person
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

Being a Unitarian Universalist has changed my life in countless ways. I found my way to this denomination at the memorial service of a friend when I was 36. That was 17 years ago, and I immediately felt as if I had come home. I often wonder how my life would have been different had someone knocked on my door eager to spread the good news.

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