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The heartfelt essays in Beyond Welcome explore what it means to be in compassionate, authentic, and equitable Beloved Community and what it will take to get us there.

Print edition available for pre-order!

Product Code: 5898
ISBN: 9781558968820
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Skinner House Books
Published Date: 01/12/2022
Pages: 160
Size: 8.5 x 5.5
Availability: Not currently available.
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Price: $16.00

How do we go beyond welcome to build compassionate, authentic, and equitable communities? In Beyond Welcome: Building Communities of Love, editor Linnea Nelson and contributors dream of a future Unitarian Universalism that upholds abundant love and universal justice within every community. Through personal and collective reflections, these heartfelt essays tell stories of how it feels to be in Beloved Community while prompting readers to imagine what it will take to get us there. The lived experiences of these hopeful Unitarian Universalists—ministers, religious professionals, and laypeople alike—illuminate the relevancy of liberation in each and every one of our communities. Examining both the joys of community and the responsibilities we have to one another, Beyond Welcome provides clarity about current structures and behaviors that create barriers to equity in our faith communities as a passageway to building foundational structures of love and liberation.

With questions designed for both personal reflection and group discussion, Beyond Welcome is a powerful and necessary resource for all looking to live into the essence of community.

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Introduction

Built Through Trust by Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti
Covenant and Community by Julica Hermann de la Fuente and Christina Rivera
A Welcoming Congregation Must Be Accessible by Julie Romero
A Circle of All by Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti
Building Sacred Cyberspace by Linnea Nelson
A Constellation of Care for All Genders by Rev. Theresa I. Soto
The Magic Pool of UU Youth Culture by L.C. Magee
Kids Talk About Community by Nichole Hodges-Abbasi, Zachi Abbasi (age 10), and Tobi Abbasi (age 9)
Worshipping in Fullness and Truth as Black UUs by Rev. Mykal O’Neal Slack
Ecstasy in Arab Musical Spaces by Rev. Summer Albayati
A Conscious Act to Stay Engaged by Dr. Jenice L.View
Sparking the White Supremacy Teach-In by Aisha Hauser
Leading Equitable Multicultural Communities by Dr. Janice Marie Johnson
Nurturing Mission-Based Arts Programs by Laura Weiss
Social Class and Beloved Community by Denise Moorehead
Embracing Family Ministry by Laura Beth Brown
Creating Robust Communities of Care by Sky Gavis-Hughson
No One Is Outside the Circle of Love by Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen
We Hold Hope Close by Rev. Theresa I. Soto

Resources
Community of Contributors

“Our recent experiences with a global pandemic, political turmoil, and the increasing visibility of ongoing and violent cultures of oppression compound our yearning for Beloved Community. The experiences recounted in this book are varied and personal. Each essay begins with a question that invites personal consideration, such as ‘What are my own experiences in community?’ Before you read the essay, take a few moments to reflect deeply on the question. Discover whether you are tapping into abundance or scarcity, love or fear. And each essay also ends with a question, this time one that invites a collective response, such as “How does my congregation or organization need to change culture or structures in order to allow everyone to fully engage and belong?” Reflect on and respond to this question with a partner or a group. If you serve on a board or committee that is reading the book together, take time in each meeting to reflect on one of the essays, to learn from the essayist and one another, and to add to your collective wisdom. These conversations will spur the building of fair and equitable congregational systems and reimagine power structures to create authentic relationships. They will open your hearts to the shared liberation that creates true belonging.”

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