Rasor book invites religious liberals into the streets

Unitarian Universalist theologian Paul Rasor’s latest book, Reclaiming Prophetic Witness: Liberal Religion in the Public Square, comes at a good time. A few weeks ago several thousand UUs crowded a public street in Phoenix, protesting the existence of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City jail. Rasor’s book is a call to action, inviting us to embrace our prophetic heritage and bring our religious convictions to bear on the issues of the day. He writes that liberal theology must be a liberation theology oriented toward social justice and overcoming oppression.

Speaking historically of one side of our religious heritage, he writes, “Universalism taught that one’s own personal welfare was inseparably linked to the welfare of all of humanity. . . the principle of universal salvation generated a sense of wholeness and harmony that was the theological basis for a truly egalitarian society.”

He continues: “Early Universalists understood, as do contemporary religious liberals, that liberation is social, that human fulfillment and liberation are possible only in a context of open and inclusive communities based on respect and justice.”

The book is available through the UUA Bookstore for $15, with discounts for bulk purchases.

Tips for using social media

The UUA blog New Media for Unitarian Universalists has an overview of the opportunities and challenges of using social media in congregations. Topics include building online relationships with those who visit your congregation, and sorting out when and why to use various new media, including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, podcasting, and YouTube.

The blog includes a video of a presentation by Shelby Meyerhoff, the UUA’s public witness specialist, to the Massachusetts Bay District’s 2010 Spring Conference on the topic of using social media.

The blog also has a Frequently Asked Questions section, one on “Getting Started” with new media, and separate sections on specific tools like Facebook and podcasts.