Our second principle calls us to “justice, equity and compassion in human relations.” We are strongly committed to putting our beliefs and values into action, and so we work hard to effect change and bring justice and healing to our hurting world.
The picture of our flaming chalice, the unofficial adopted symbol of Unitarian Universalism, may seem like an odd choice at first glance for living justice – but the flaming chalice as a symbol actually has its roots in social justice. The Unitarian Service Committee (USC), prior to the merger with Universalism (see Our History for more background information), was very active in trying to ferry Jewish people to safety during World War II. Part of the necessary logistics, during this time of intense spying and betrayal, was ensuring that written communications and documents were authentic, and so the USC asked Austrian artist Hans Deutsch to create a symbol that could be used to verify that communications were authentic. Deutsch created the flaming chalice, and while no official vote was ever taken, Unitarian Universalists nationwide have adopted it as the symbol of our faith. Read a more detailed version of the history of the flaming chalice here.
Locally, our church is very engaged with social justice issues, and have chosen to focus our efforts on hunger, environmental justice, LGBTQ equality, and racism. Those are only the official task forces of the congregation though – as a community of individuals, our social justice work spreads far and wide. It is common for our members to note to newcomers that if you know who is Unitarian Universalist, if you go to just about any community service or social justice event in Muncie you’ll see a handful of them there.
Nationally, there many opportunities to engage in Unitarian Universalist justice work. In response to the Knoxville, TN shooting, the Standing On the Side of Love (SOSL) campaign was founded, which currently focuses on immigrant justice, LGBTQ equality, and racial justice. The Unitarian Service Committee became the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee post-merger, and offers many opportunities to engage in just-making work. A recent addition is the UU College of Social Justice, which focuses on experiential learning experiences.
Bottom line is that social justice is one of our core values, and we do our best to live that value into being every day in the world.