“It’s very frustrating,” one participant declared. “I never thought I’d see America behave like this,” an older woman chimed in. “What can we do to restore decency in our leadership?” asked a local business owner.
This spirited discussion about the current political discord in America took place on a recent Thursday evening in the library of Vero Beach’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at the corner of 27th Avenue and 16th Street. The participants acknowledged how political divisiveness has left many neighbors estranged from their old friends and familiar institutions. They explored ways to tell the local community that “UUs” understand the situation and offer a positive, refreshing alternative.
Among the ideas generated by this meeting was to host a special “Welcoming Sunday” at 10:00 A.M. on March 4 and encourage neighbors to attend.
“Right now, the situations in Washington and elsewhere around the world are troubling so many people,” observes Scott Alexander, minister of Vero Beach’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. “They never imagined that polarizing politics could undermine society’s core standards of decency and challenge our respect for diversity, gender, and basic human rights. They earnestly want to change the course of America, and they are seeking others who feel the same way.
To reach these concerned neighbors, UUFVB is distributing invitations to the March 4 event through social media and direct mail. “We are offering our fellowship as a haven for people who want affirmation from a welcoming crowd of sympathetic, compassionate friends,” adds Rev. Alexander “We hope they will respond to our invitation.”
UUFVB is telling people to “come prepared to think freely, speak freely, and ask questions in a place where others ask questions, too.” Their message promises “a community of open-minded friends who share your hopes for tomorrow — and are doing something about it.” Finally, consistent with UUFVB’s tradition of embracing diversity, the UUs pledge that “you’re welcome just the way you are.”
Unitarian Universalism nurtures spirituality without requiring adherence to a particular doctrine or set of arbitrary, often illogical, rules. By inviting people to “bring their minds,” UUFVB distinguishes itself as a place for thoughtful sharing of opinions and cooperative efforts to effect positive changes.
UUFVB’s Welcoming Sunday begins on March 4 with the 10:00 a.m. worship service and is immediately followed by a social gathering in the Fellowship Hall. For those unable to attend this special event, weekly meetings are held every Sunday and are always open to the public. The fellowship meets at 1590 27th Avenue in Vero Beach.
To download a copy of the event’s invitation, visit www.bit.ly/UU_Invitation. For more information on the event itself, go to www.uufvb.org/worship/march4, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the fellowship’s office at 772-778-5880.