David Usher: Grass Valley Church unveils ‘Black Lives Matter’ banner | TheUnion.com

David Usher: Grass Valley Church unveils ‘Black Lives Matter’ banner

The Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains in Grass Valley unveiled a Black Lives Matter banner above their entrance on Sunday.

Though a predominantly white denomination, Unitarian Universalists have been in the forefront of campaigning across the nation on behalf of the Black Lives Matter movement since it began more than a year ago.

As minister in Grass Valley, I have preached several times on the issue and liaised closely with Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster, who gave a presentation to the congregation and general public earlier in the year.

Unitarian Universalists have a distinguished history of activism on behalf of civil rights and religious liberty.

Fifty years ago, Unitarian Universalists were among the most active in the Civil Rights movement.

The two whites assassinated during the Selma march, the Rev. James Reeb and Viola Liuzzo, were both Unitarian Universalists.

They were the first denomination to ordain women into the ministry, and also the first to ordain openly gay and lesbian ministers.

More recently, they led the denominations in the successful campaign to secure equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Unitarian Universalism is a well-established denomination which does not demand doctrinal conformity but grants full freedom of conscience to its members.

The congregation in Grass Valley was founded in 1994.

Rev. David Usher serves at The Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains, Grass Valley.

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