You may not know us yet, but we are so delighted to write our first letter to you as your newest UUHA President and Vice President. Our world, and certainly our country, is at a crossroads. This is not the first time we have been asked to choose together how we will shape our world, nor will it be the last. And yet each time it is also true that this is the first time we have been in this particular spot together. The first time we have made this particular set of choices together.
We all have some pretty weighty choices in front of us—how we will react to the twin scientific crises of pandemic and global warming—both made so much worse by human irresponsibility. How we will choose to be together as the mounting evidence of systemic supremacy and inequality confirms the prophetic voices of queer people and Black people that have gone unrecognized for too long. And how we as an organization will respond to the calls for justice within and around us. This litany of ills is not meant to call you into despair, but hope—not the false hope of flippant optimism in the face of tragedy, but the deep and abiding hope of committing to each other and to our world with determination. Of choosing each other again, and again, and yet again.
When we met with the UUHA board for our most recent board retreat, we heard some common threads, ones you will see running through our UUHA programming for the year. We talked together about science, of course, and justice. Of the ways we can build community to be of service to each other and to the world. We spoke of curiosity and wonder, and the ways in which our humanist worldview calls us into covenant with each other, with you, and with the universe. As we spoke together, we considered the ways in which we, as a board, can be in better and more frequent communication with you, our members.
A few days after you receive this letter, we will make available for our current members a digital copy of our Journal of Religious Humanism (the first time we have done that for every member). We hope you will support this transition, understanding that the ever-increasing costs and environmental impact of maintaining a small print run and mailing cannot be responsibly sustained. A limited number of print copies (mostly for library subscribers) will be available also to members who have come to treasure the printed version, on a first come, first served basis. Please let our editor, Roger Brewin, know if this is your situation (Email Roger). But first, try the digital version and see if you find, as we have, that the content is what counts.
Additionally, we hope to bring you more frequent content updates to our website in the months ahead, as well as dedicated programming—opportunities to learn from and connect with other UU Humanists—via the online gathering tools that congregations have come to rely upon in this pandemic era. Right now, we’re planning a monthly discussion on a topic of interest to our members, monthly online meetups to connect socially, and also dedicated spaces for special interests. We want to involve more people in the process of connecting, so if you are a naturalist who is interested in connecting with other naturalists, let us know so we can provide platforms to support you! We are also looking forward to connecting with our Ambassadors more often, beginning with a virtual Ambassadors meetup on Sunday, October 25th. If you’re an Ambassador, look out for more details on that in another email. And we want to hear from you on what you want and need more of from the UUHA!
Although sometimes seen or defined primarily for what it is not, we think that Humanism as a faith or lifestance offers not less, but more. We deeply believe that it is truly a worldview that offers good news, especially for the many people around us who have become disenchanted with faiths that don’t fit, for so many reasons. For people who have felt alone in their seeking, in their questions. For people who want to do good in the world but may not have—or may not want—a connection to a faith community. For those of us who have called UU humanism home for a long time, and can still discover more. We are so glad you’re a part of this community and we look forward to many opportunities to know you better.
Leika Lewis-Cornwell, UUHA President
James Witker, UUHA Vice President