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Beloved Community:
Faith, meet Politics. Politics, Faith.
SOMETIMES,
Unitarian Universalist
congregations act like

POLITICAL CLUBS
for activists or

social clubs
for the liberal l...
Increasingly, however,
our congregations are acting
on a longing
to connect social change
and spiritual integrity.
THIS IS
A PARADIGM SHIFT
WHAT IS
A PARADIGM SHIFT

?
Remember
when
Europeans
thought the
Earth was
the center
of the
universe?
And along came
Copernicus with

Nope.
Not really.
A
PARADIGM
is a framework –
a way of
organizing
information and
experience
based on what
we think is true.
Until another
PARADIGM
shows up
we don’t even know we’re in one.
Many
Unitarian Universalists have
been operating from a

DOMINANT
PARADIGM
when it comes to engaging
social justice.
DOMINANT PARADIGM

Limits itself to
political views
and realities
DOMINANT PARADIGM

Divides the
world into US
and THEM…
…and the
purpose of
power is to
control THEM.
DOMINANT PARADIGM

Understands
human and
civil rights as
the basis for
social justice.
DOMINANT PARADIGM

resources

Puts things
at the center.

time

plans

analysis

tasks
DOMINANT PARADIGM

Sees issues as problems
to be solved.
DOMINANT PARADIGM

Reduces identity
to status or role.
OPPRESSORS	
  

VICTIMS	
  

ALLIES	
  
DOMINANT PARADIGM

Tends to be
REACTIVE:
that is,
motivated
by and
motivating
through
anger or
fear.
DOMINANT PARADIGM

Engages
on
behalf of
other*
people.

* Read: poor, needy, wounded, broken, victimized people.
DOMINANT PARADIGM

Focuses on changing the world out there.
DOMINANT PARADIGM

Sees justice
as a system
of reward
and
punishment.
There’s nothing wrong with this
paradigm per se.
It’s just…well, limiting.
Why settle for paint by number…
when there’s a full color masterpiece?
Many already know:
another paradigm exists.
And with a
nod to
Josiah
Royce who
coined the
term…
and gratitude to Dr. King who
popularized it by word and deed
we call this alternative the
 
BELOVED COMMUNITY
PARADIGM
For Dr. King, the
goal of the
Freedom
Movement was not
civil rights, but
BELOVED
COMMUNITY.
Of course civil rights matter –
but they are not the goal.
The goal is

(MLK)	
  

“

“

…a	
  radical	
  redefini8on	
  of	
  our	
  
rela8onships.	
  
Increasingly, the
BELOVED COMMUNITY
PARADIGM
is emerging as a framework
for activists – even those who are
“not religious....
Grace Lee Boggs,
a lifelong activist writes:
“…it has become increasingly
clear to me that King’s
prophetic vision [of
Bel...
BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM

Roots	
  itself	
  in	
  a	
  religious	
  /	
  spiritual	
  view	
  that	
  
recognizes	
  po...
BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM

There is only
us – ALL of us
…and the
purpose of
power is to
restore right
relationship.
BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM

Right
relationship
- not rights form the
basis for
social
justice.
BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM

Focuses more on relationships than on things.
BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM

See issues as a way of life to be transformed.
BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM

Recognizes that
social identity
shapes, but
does not limit,
who we are.
We are more
than our s...
BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM

Is proactive: motivated by hope.
BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM
"	
  If	
  you	
  have	
  come	
  here	
  
to	
  help	
  me	
  you	
  are	
  
was8ng	
  your	
 ...
BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM

Focuses on being the change we want to see.
BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM

Understands
justice as
“love
correcting
everything
that stands
against
love.” (MLK)
DOMINANT PARADIGM
•  Limits itself to political views and
realities
•  Divides the world into “us” and
“them” and the purp...
DOMINANT
PARADIGM

BELOVED
COMMUNITY
CONVERSATION WITH SELF

•  What in what I’ve read here is most
important to me personally?

•  What new questions do I hav...
Beloved Community Paradigm
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Beloved Community Paradigm

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Beloved Community Paradigm

  1. 1. Beloved Community: Faith, meet Politics. Politics, Faith.
  2. 2. SOMETIMES, Unitarian Universalist congregations act like POLITICAL CLUBS for activists or social clubs for the liberal like-minded.
  3. 3. Increasingly, however, our congregations are acting on a longing to connect social change and spiritual integrity.
  4. 4. THIS IS A PARADIGM SHIFT
  5. 5. WHAT IS A PARADIGM SHIFT ?
  6. 6. Remember when Europeans thought the Earth was the center of the universe?
  7. 7. And along came Copernicus with Nope. Not really.
  8. 8. A PARADIGM is a framework – a way of organizing information and experience based on what we think is true.
  9. 9. Until another PARADIGM shows up
  10. 10. we don’t even know we’re in one.
  11. 11. Many Unitarian Universalists have been operating from a DOMINANT PARADIGM when it comes to engaging social justice.
  12. 12. DOMINANT PARADIGM Limits itself to political views and realities
  13. 13. DOMINANT PARADIGM Divides the world into US and THEM… …and the purpose of power is to control THEM.
  14. 14. DOMINANT PARADIGM Understands human and civil rights as the basis for social justice.
  15. 15. DOMINANT PARADIGM resources Puts things at the center. time plans analysis tasks
  16. 16. DOMINANT PARADIGM Sees issues as problems to be solved.
  17. 17. DOMINANT PARADIGM Reduces identity to status or role. OPPRESSORS   VICTIMS   ALLIES  
  18. 18. DOMINANT PARADIGM Tends to be REACTIVE: that is, motivated by and motivating through anger or fear.
  19. 19. DOMINANT PARADIGM Engages on behalf of other* people. * Read: poor, needy, wounded, broken, victimized people.
  20. 20. DOMINANT PARADIGM Focuses on changing the world out there.
  21. 21. DOMINANT PARADIGM Sees justice as a system of reward and punishment.
  22. 22. There’s nothing wrong with this paradigm per se.
  23. 23. It’s just…well, limiting.
  24. 24. Why settle for paint by number…
  25. 25. when there’s a full color masterpiece?
  26. 26. Many already know: another paradigm exists.
  27. 27. And with a nod to Josiah Royce who coined the term…
  28. 28. and gratitude to Dr. King who popularized it by word and deed
  29. 29. we call this alternative the
  30. 30.   BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM
  31. 31. For Dr. King, the goal of the Freedom Movement was not civil rights, but BELOVED COMMUNITY.
  32. 32. Of course civil rights matter – but they are not the goal.
  33. 33. The goal is (MLK)   “ “ …a  radical  redefini8on  of  our   rela8onships.  
  34. 34. Increasingly, the BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM is emerging as a framework for activists – even those who are “not religious.”
  35. 35. Grace Lee Boggs, a lifelong activist writes: “…it has become increasingly clear to me that King’s prophetic vision [of Beloved Community] is now the indispensable starting point for 21st-century revolutionaries.” Author of The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century
  36. 36. BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM Roots  itself  in  a  religious  /  spiritual  view  that   recognizes  poli8cal  reali8es  
  37. 37. BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM There is only us – ALL of us …and the purpose of power is to restore right relationship.
  38. 38. BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM Right relationship - not rights form the basis for social justice.
  39. 39. BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM Focuses more on relationships than on things.
  40. 40. BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM See issues as a way of life to be transformed.
  41. 41. BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM Recognizes that social identity shapes, but does not limit, who we are. We are more than our social status, rank or role.
  42. 42. BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM Is proactive: motivated by hope.
  43. 43. BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM "  If  you  have  come  here   to  help  me  you  are   was8ng  your  8me,  but   if  you  have  come  here   because  your  libera8on   is  bound  up  with  mine,   then  let  us  work   together."       Lilla  Watson,  Aboriginal  educator,   Brisbane,  Australia   Engages us for our own sake, too.
  44. 44. BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM Focuses on being the change we want to see.
  45. 45. BELOVED COMMUNITY PARADIGM Understands justice as “love correcting everything that stands against love.” (MLK)
  46. 46. DOMINANT PARADIGM •  Limits itself to political views and realities •  Divides the world into “us” and “them” and the purpose of power is to control “them” •  “Rights” as the basis for social justice •  Puts things at the center •  Issues are seen as problems to be solved •  Reduces identity to status or role •  Reactive: driven by anger or fear •  Often understands this as for “other” people •  Focuses on changing the world out there •  Justice = a system of rewards and punishments BELOVED COMMUNITY •  Rooted in a religious or spiritual view that recognizes political realities •  There is only us – all of us and the purpose of power is to restore right relationship •  “Right relationships” as the basis •  Puts relationships at the center •  Issues reflect a way of life to be transformed •  Identity shapes us, but does not limit who we are •  Proactive: motivated by hope •  Engages for one’s own sake, too •  Focuses on being the change we want to see •  Justice = “Love correcting everything that stands against love.” (MLK)
  47. 47. DOMINANT PARADIGM BELOVED COMMUNITY
  48. 48. CONVERSATION WITH SELF •  What in what I’ve read here is most important to me personally? •  What new questions do I have now? •  What actions might I take in my congregation or community based on this?

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