Standing on the Side of Love for Immigration Justice

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Unitarian Universalists’ annual General Assembly, which was held this year in Phoenix, Arizona. The focus of this year’s gathering was social justice around the issue of immigration. I live tweeted the event from my iPhone, and the following are some of the highlights:

Peter Bowden ‏@uuplanet: Supreme Court sides with U.S. in Arizona immigration case - #UUAGA #SB1070

“It is possible to move from a thing-oriented society to a people-oriented society.” -MLK, qtd by Mark Hicks #uuaga Si se puede!

“The word ‘humility’ is not found in the subject index of the UU hymnal.” #uuaga #JustSaying

“We need the sexy power to advocate and persuade for immigration justice.” #uuaga

“Build relationships not borders. The power of love, not the love of power.” #uuaga

“We need not the deportation of families, but the importation of friendships.” #uuaga

Ken Brown ‏@UURevKen: UUAGA delegates vote to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery

YesYvonne ‏@YesYvonne: Now discussing proposed repudiation of Doctrine of (Christian) Discovery, used to justify taking of lives, lands, and resources.

Sana Saeed ‏@BBADWoman: Ways to help orgs in #Arizona working for human rights : #immigration #Phoenix #UUAGA

Lara Hoke ‏@RevLara: As of last night, 247 newspapers across the country covered the vigil at Tent City! #uuaga

Important NYTimes article on “Old vs. Young.” Resonates w/ Peter Morales’ UU 2017 predictions: #UUAGA

“We need the birth of a new human rights movement.” #uuaga #Interdependence

“We religious liberals evolve not resolve, embrace not erase. In love, need to call others to grow up.” -John Crestwell #uuaga

SideOfLoveCampaign ‏@SideofLove: People the world are reading about the massive, beautiful vigil for human rights at Tent City: #uuaGA #justthebeginning

Melanie ‏@TapestryUU: “Several Thousand Protest Tent City” HuffPost [article] #uuaga #uu #sideoflove @sideoflove

Matt Kinsi ‏@mattkinsi: The livestreaming of the #uuaga witness was so powerful, I can not imagine what being there must have felt like. Revival of our faith.

We are hearing the reading of the 122 names who have died in these detention centers, never having been tried for a crime.#UUAGA #tentcity

Meredith Garmon ‏@meredithgarmon: Peter Morales: I just had a tour of Tent City. It’s what could only be seen in a fascist country. #uuaga

Meredith Garmon ‏@meredithgarmon: Tent City is #Arpaio‘s concetration camp. Let this injustice be ended.#uuaga

Otenth Paderborn ‏@otenth: Fantastic live video of UUs singing at a vigil ouside the ‘tent city’ jail in Phoenix #uuaga

“You know what I told you about MLK? That’s what this immigration protest is about doing.” #uuaga #standingonthesideoflove

“They were calling the UUs the ‘Love People.’”#standingonthesideoflove #uuaga

KHP ‏@chialyn: It’s go time. Making our way to Maricopa County Tent City detention center to stand witness for justice. #standingonthesideoflove #uuaga#fb

Jessica Edlinger ‏@SometimesVegan: Our task is to make what us invisible visible. Our task is to maker what is deniable undeniable. #UUAGA

Tera Little ‏@UURevTera: Wondering – hoping – the plethora of clergy shirts tonight breaks open a new era of comfort with them. #uuaga

Jo Paoletti ‏@jbpaoletti: For the #uuaga Tent City event, #occupyphoenix is broadcasting live from Phoenix, AZ. 7:45 MST

Andrea Lerner ‏@RelentlesslyUU#UUAGA Tweeting Maria Hinojosa would not do it justice – just WATCH for yourself.

Jennifer Nichols ‏@uujenn: If detained you don’t have access to a lawyer in civil cases involving immigration. #UUAGA

UUA ‏@UUA: UUA, UCC presidents condemn Joe Arpaio’s closure of Tent City, other Maricopa County jails:

SideOfLoveCampaign ‏@SideofLove: Alexander: Mass incarceration system is based on belief that some of us are not worthy of genuine care, compassion, and concern.#UUAGA

UU World ‏@UUWorld#uu #uuaga: Tonight’s vigil may have armed counter-protesters – Gini Courter offers guidelines for Tent City witness

UUSC ‏@UUSC: All of the slides from the #uusocialmedia workshop at #uuaga are online now! Download them from the workshop webpage:

Meghatron ‏@the_meghatron#UUAGA delegates just voted for the Congregational Study/Action Issue of 2012-2016 to be Reproductive Justice! (cc @ReligiousInst@RevDebra)

Jude Geiger ‏@revjudegeiger: Let’s stop calling it “anti-marriage equality” and start calling it what it is – “anti-marriage.” #pride #UUAGA #marriageequality

Andrea Lerner ‏@RelentlesslyUU: Sheet music to last night’s closing hymn, Life Calls Us On – great resource #UUAGA

“Justice is what love looks like in public.” -Cornel West#StandingOnTheSideOfLove #uuaga

“May we trespass together into prophetic imagination.” -Karen Tse#uuaga

“Be prepared when Life asks you, ‘What meaning have you given to me?’” ~Victor Frankl, qtd by Karen Tse #uuaga

Karen Tse: “Find the Christ or Buddha in each person to harness the power of transformative love.” #uuaga

Wade Leschyn ‏@wleschyn: UUA and Phoenix Convention Center fail to provide adequate Wi-Fi hotspots. Is the UUA interested in getting their message out? #uuaga

Why wait 24 hours to announce CSAI vote? We live in 21st century. Could text, tweet &/or post on UUA website. #uuaga

CSAI speaker: “I’m lucky to have the floor instead sweeping the floor afterward.” #uuaga #classism

CSAI speaker: “UUs need more than 4 more years of feeling good about feeling bad about a justice issue.” #uuaga #classism

Matt Kinsi ‏@mattkinsi: I’m rooting for CSAI-3 at #uuaga on Reproductive Justice – I think our congregation could do a lot with it.

Rebecca Parker: “Argument for UU High Christology if look at ancient Christian sources for High Anthropology.” #uuaga

Overheard: “Used to wish I could be fly on wall of Transcendentalist Club. Now just want to listen to UU activists today.” #uuaga

William Sinkford: “Our goal is not to just acquire a few more dark-skinned faces. Our goal is to stand on the side of love.” #uuaga

Applying Kat Liu: “Love is acting as if every participle in the universe is the center.” #uuaga

William Sinkford: “Love is that which will not let us go.” #uuaga

Rebecca Parker: “Love is the capacity to discern which power to apply: to speak or be silent, sit or act.” #uuaga

Kat Liu: “Putting on a yellow ‘Standing on the Side of Love’ shirts before rally *is* a ritual.” #uuaga

Carrie L Stewart ‏@CarrieOneWorld: Love is our source and destination, our call and response, and binds us to those who came before. Rev. Rebecca Parker. #uuaga

William Sinkford: “Our activism needs to be grounded in a sustaining love for the long haul.” #uuaga

Rebecca Parker’s two word summary of UUism: “All Souls.” #uuaga

UUSC ‏@UUSC: Earlier in the workshop, @revbillschulz shared favorite Occupy sign “No one who is dealt four aces asks the dealer to deal again.”#uuaga

Dan Mckanon: Repeat after me, “We are UUs. We are not afraid of our bodies. We are not afraid of ritual.” #uuaga

You are the protagonist; what you do matters. You are a tiny speck; you need to listen to others. -Kat Liu #uuaga

Be a hero: say “Yes” to the action that circumstance and justice ask of you. -Kat Liu #uuaga

Not “illegal immigrant” but “Economic Refugee.” Free congregational curriculum: #uuaga

The Rev. Dr. Carl Gregg is a trained spiritual director, a D.Min. graduate of San Francisco Theological Seminary, and the pastor of Broadview Church in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. On July 9, 2012, he will start as the Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, Maryland. Follow him on Facebook ( and Twitter (@carlgregg).

About Carl Gregg