BLUU to RECLAIM Our Faith, Our Joy, Our Hope, Our Lives in the New Year!

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What is Revival? It’s uplift, transformation, and nourishment of body, mind, and spirit. It’s testimony, music, and dance. It’s allowing space for spirit to move. It’s love and justice being breathed into life anew. Revival is the place where a restoration to life, consciousness, strength and faith is cultivated among people of all ages and stages, where we literally live again. And Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism is ecstatic to host revival in the MidAmerica region this Spring!!

On the weekend of April 28, 2018, BLUU will be hosting RECLAIM., a revival of body, mind, and spirit, in Kansas City, Missouri! This will be a special moment for Black UUs and UU-adjacent folks, local Black organizers, and the communities they hold dear to connect, worship together, and support one another. It’ll also be an opportunity for BLUU to offer a kind of ministerial presence we’ve not offered before - to organize a public space where Black folks can be fortified in song, word, learning, and community, and to help hold sacred space for connection across the faith traditions and spiritual journeys that make us who we are as Black people and as Black UUs. We are grateful for the fundraising efforts of the Office of the MidAmerica Region that will help make this event possible.

This gathering will be an explicitly Black Only space, so if you’re white or a non-black person of color in our faith, please share this announcement with Black UUs and other Black folks in your circles who would value coming together for this special event. And if you’re connected to a congregation that is committed to supporting BLUU and these efforts, the best way to do that is to financially support Black UUs who want to attend. If you have further questions about this, please let us know via our contact page.

We are happy to report that a Regional Team is on board to bring this gathering to life over the next several months! A huge thank you to Pastor Danny Givens, Jr. (MN), Rev. Kimberly Hampton (MO), Rev. Kimberly Quinn Johnson (NY), Oshara Meesha (KS), Samuel Prince (OH), and Renee Reed (IN), who are all serving on the team so far and offering their time and talent in service to Black UUs in the region and throughout the country! You can get to know them better by going to our website and checking out the Revival page. Also, our hope is to bring on new team members representing other states in the region in the coming weeks.

To help support the work, we are also pleased to announce that BLUU has contracted with the Rev. Marcus Fogliano, who will be joining us as our Revival Coordinator from now through the end of April! They will also serve on the Regional Team and coordinate our efforts on the ground. Born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, Marcus has stayed close to home, with the intent on making it better. They have spent considerable time advocating for safe and affirming schools, LGBTQIA rights in public policy, as well as criminal and economic justice for the black community in their hometown. Having been ordained as a Jehovah’s Witness, Rev. Marcus is active in the Central Illinois Interfaith Alliance, and has begun their journey toward Fellowship within their newfound spiritual home in Unitarian Universalism.

African-American Sufi Muslim and beloved colleague and teacher at Starr King School for the Ministry, the late Ibrahim Abdurrahman Farajajé, once said: “The things that you love in life, the things that bring you joy, the things that bring you blessing, the things that bring you love: go towards those things, live into those things, embrace those things.”

May it be so as we co-create this moment with our BLUU spiritual family and with the local Black community in Kansas City, and as we welcome Black UUs of all ages and stages to RECLAIM the spirit of Revival in our Unitarian Universalism! So set aside the weekend of April 28th in your calendars and stay updated at See you there!!