MLP is proud to officially partner with Standing on the Side of Love, an interfaith public advocacy campaign sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association that seeks to harness love’s power to stop oppression. The campaign begins with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday and runs from January 18 – February 16, 2014. We invite More Light churches and individuals in our beloved community to journey with the broader faith community for thirty days of intentional action, service, education, and reflection on social justice. MLP will contribute a blog post to the campaign on February 3rd.
Standing on the Side of Love grew out of a tragic shooting at a Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church in 2008. The shooter was angry about the congregation’s welcome to LGBTQ people and its liberal values. Two adults died and seven were wounded in the incident. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) responded with compassion by launching this campaign to harness love’s power to challenge exclusion, oppression, and violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, race, religion, or any other identity.
The campaign is rooted in the values expressed by the Charter for Compassion, an interfaith initiative to restore compassionate thinking and action to the center of religious, moral and political life. The Presbyterian Church (USA) was the first denomination to endorse the Charter for Compassion and Pastor Mark Greiner of Takoma Park Presbyterian Church in Maryland, a welcoming and affirming More Light church, led the effort to pass the charter at the 219th General Assembly (2010).
The Standing on the Side of Love campaign begins around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and embodies what he taught us, “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”
As we approach 30 Days of Love, we invite More Light congregations to use one or more of your Sundays between January 18 – February 16, 2014 to express your church’s welcome and inclusion of all God’s people.
Week One: Living the Dream
Sunday, Jan. 19: Suggested worship service themes include honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and recommitting to racial justice work.
Week Two: Sharing Our Stories
Sunday, Jan. 26: Suggested worship service themes include exploring your community’s “Story of Self, Us, & Now” and using stories to make the invisible visible.
Week Three: Building Bridges of Love
Sunday, Feb. 2: Suggested worship service themes include “where is your radical love?” We encourage you to give out Courageous Love Awards and focus on the idea of radical inclusion.
Week Four: Pause, Reflect, Celebrate!
Sunday, Feb. 9: Celebrate love–what justice victories does your community have to celebrate this year? This could be anything from a new anti-discrimination ordinance to an emerging partnership with an immigrant justice organization to the opening of a new LGBTQ youth center.
No one modeled the power of harnessing love’s power to challenge exclusion, oppression, and violence better than Nelson Mandela who recently died at age 95. After 27 years in prison, he led South Africa in a peaceful transition to democracy. He wrote in Long Walk to Freedom: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
May we all walk in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela and harness love’s power to stop oppression. Love after all, comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Yours on the journey,