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The Importance of Allyship as a Spiritual Competency

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Listen On The Podcast HERE.

We will do what needs to be done for truth and justice.  Let us shine our lights on the wrongs that lurk in the shadows. This is not just about acknowledging the truth, but about fostering a culture of justice and inclusion within our faith communities.

As Unitarian Universalist we aim to create safe, inclusive spaces for all. My reflections are about the double-sided coin of spirituality and the fuel it ignites in helping us side with love and reject injustices. When we speak up and not over those we aim to support, we foster a culture of respect and understanding. When we walk with, and not in front of historically excluded people, we live into authentic allyship.

This matters because as a faith, we’re aspiring to be in beloved community. However, despite our best intentions, without a strong foundation in allyship as a spiritual competency, our intentions will continue to either fall flat – or at best, keep us from going backwards. In this time of the Anti-DEI legislation and the rolling back of civil and human rights, we need MORE than staying in place. We need to move forward with urgency, strength, and love.

Bringing these topics to the pulpit on Sunday mornings is a start. For deep change our communities need adult faith development and similar opportunities to transform our intentions into spiritual practices. Hour sermons create awareness and reflection, and we need more on top of that. We need to create and be intentional about supporting more intimate spaces that move our hearts and put our hands to work in our congregations and the communities in which we are a part.

This is one reason why in addition to serving as a guest in various pulpits, I have an enriching catalog of adult faith development classes that I offer. My newest course is an inclusive sexual harassment training for both congregational staff and volunteers. It's not enough to simply condemn disrespect and inappropriate behavior; we must equip our membership and staff with the knowledge and tools to identify, prevent, and address such issues.

Beloved community is more of a journey than a destination. We will make mistakes and sometimes we will fail. Beloved community is a high expectation. To live into it we need support, information, and leadership. Giving our membership and staff the knowledge and resources they need is critical. I have found that Sunday mornings often reveal what work needs to be done while small group ministries solidify our commitment and nurture our deep change.

So let us shine our lights on what needs our love, in this world.  I believe providing inclusive sexual harassment training to staff and volunteers is one way – and there are many ways! Allyship seminars. Right relations workshops. Bystander trainings. We can look to the wisdom of Ida B. Wells when she says, “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”

Shine the light.

Have crucial conversations.

Reconnect with your Mission.

Reconnect with each other.

Beloved community includes being in right relations with each other. We need the light to shine in order to facilitate truth telling and the safe space necessary to walk with each other in love.

This is not just a matter of faith, but a matter of human dignity and respect. Our faith communities reflect our society. We have a responsibility to ensure that they are a safe, inclusive, and respectful space for all. If we don’t people won’t want to join us. If we don’t, people will not want to stay.

So, let's stand together in the pursuit of truth and love. Let's shine a light on the wrongs and work towards creating a culture of respect and understanding. Let’s create spaces outside of worship services where we can experience deep change. When we have the hard conversations despite our fears and reservations, we can better let go of the past and focus on the future.

If this resonates with you, join a small group ministry at your congregation. Sign up for that adult faith development class you saw in your church’s newsletter. Reach out to me to bring my inclusive sexual harassment prevention training to your staff and volunteers. Invite me to be a guest in your pulpit or have me facilitate one of my signature adult faith enrichment courses at your community. Share this message with your church friends. Let's spread the word and make a difference, one community at a time.

There any many options. The goal is to do something. Take action.

Remember, we need MORE than staying in place.

May we move forward with urgency, strength, and love.

May it be so.


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