A diverse, welcoming community of open hearts and minds since 1948
But, UUCA is a spiritual space not a fully democratic space. YET, It doesn’t have to be that way. In my opinion, I don’t see UUCA as a truly democratic space if we don’t throw open our doors to the community with the addition of the 2 story Celebration Center. Young people are occupying Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square because they don’t feel they have a voice. No one is listening to them and voting just isn’t enough anymore. Our laws enforce and reinforce our lack of democratic space. People talk at each other in public spaces if at all. I think it is one of the reasons the Occupy movement has become so popular. No much is being left unsaid but the impact and experience of real democratic practice is evident in everything these young people are doing. It is about occupying the space of a public park and not allowing the government or corporations to frame the democratic action in their favor. The Occupy movement is the start of an inspiring discussion. Where it goes? Who knows? How do we bring the presence our full humanity into all of the spaces we inhabit?
Our problems require outside of the box thinking. We need spaces to do democratic thinking in. How can the expansion of UUCA give every person welcomed by our community - a mind, body and spiritual experience? How can UUCA be an inspiration for democratic values in the Greater Washington, DC area? How can UUCA create a space where consultations and border crossings between various groups of people or individuals can occur? How can UUCA be a democratic and a spiritual presence in our community? It’s not sustainable to have people merely occupying parks when the pain caused by the lack of democratic discussion happens at our kitchen tables, schools, prisons, the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, streets, workplaces and finally at the voting booth. Today, People are being denied the right to life, liberty and due process in a variety of ways. Is there a space where the messiness of democracy can happen? Our European Unitarian-Universalist forbearers were products of the European Enlightenment. It was the democratic conversations held by them that helped end the Slave Trade in collaboration with African and African Americans who were directly impacted by slavery. They did it in English homes and in English churches where possible. There have to be multiple engagement points for someone like me or you to engage in the ongoing democratic conversation inspired by the Occupy Movement. I believe those who support the two-story expansion are asking for a democratic OCCUPATION of UUCA by our community and by extension our world. Will courage and vision win out or fear of opening ourselves to the stranger? As for myself, I am inspired by the plans for the Celebration Center. Plays, art projects and democratic actions are dancing around in my head? I can only do that in this community. My own visions come out in a democratic space made possible by a 2-story addition. Are you going to squelch my personal inspiration?