In the early days of our religious tradition, the Congregationalist churches operated
democratically, making decisions together and calling their own leaders. The Unitarian and
Universalist luminaries Theodore Parker and James Luther Adams both often spoke about how
this model of community, this glimpse of what the world could look like, was a major
impetus for the American Revolution. People saw that in their religious communities they
could operate with the democratic process and elect their leadership, and they said to
themselves, “Why isn’t society like this? It works! How can we instill these values and
principles into the world at large?”
It is in this spirit that we operate. We see our role as that of literally building the
foundations of the Beloved Community. In that, our collective spiritual practice is
growing and deepening our interdependence with one another. The way that we do this
deliberately is to build alternative institutions to the oppressive ones that currently
exist in our world. As we build them, we increase our capacity to catalyze transformation in the
world. We do this in radical partnerships of solidarity with other community
organizations, especially those made up of the most marginalized groups in our area.
What does that look like?
Gatherings – bi-weekly celebratory worship where we share a meal, deepen our fellowship
through guided discussions, and prepare for our outward endeavors.
Small Group Ministry – members participate in a group-learning curriculum that we have
developed called “Sacred Fire,” which consists of action-reflection sessions on social
justice theology and philosophy, ethics and process, strategies of social transformation,
and viable models of change.
Food Justice – utilizing some of the lessons that Rev. Nato learned from working with
women’s empowerment collectives in southern Mexico, we are co-creating organic and
sustainable food networks in partnership with farmers and other community organizations.
We do this by promoting collective consumption, supporting local economies, and connecting
food with those in need.
Solidarity – As we build the world we dream about, we believe that we must work in
solidarity with those most marginalized in our communities. For us, solidarity involves
the radical work of dismantling privilege by taking on some of the risks faced by
oppressed peoples. We do this by creating principled partnerships with and working
alongside organizations of color.