Submitted by Joanne Dingus
On May 17th Rev. Andrew led a workshop for the Coming of Age students on articulating their UU Faith. We started with a get to know you game and then did a series of activities leading up to creating an Elevator Speech about Unitarian Universalism. They were given some examples of Elevator speeches from famous UU’s. You’ve probably heard about Elevator Speeches in the past but have you ever taken the time to figure out your own? What would you say to someone who asks you, “What is Unitarian Universalism?” “What do UU’s believe?” “What about the bible?” “What about God?” “Is it a church?”
Some people get flustered when these kinds of questions come up. Some people find it easier to start by telling people what Unitarian Universalism is not. What we don’t believe or what we don’t have. This backwards approach doesn’t do much to promote our faith. And can even turn people off.
Fumbling for words, talking around the question will more likely confuse the questioner and cause them to wonder whether you even know your own faith.
So, I would recommend that you follow the lead of the Coming of Age students and take some time to make your own Elevator Speech about Unitarian Universalism. It should be short, easy to remember and give a positive view of what it means to be a UU. Start with a draft. Write down several aspects that are important to you. Then revise it until it meets the criteria, can you tell it to someone in the time it takes to rise a few floors in an elevator?
My first draft went something like this—As a UU, I search for meaning in life. I believe we must love ourselves and stretch ourselves, love community and create community, love the world and save the world.
The short version might be something like—Care of self, community, world.
Elevator speeches can change as you change and may be longer or shorter depending on who you are talking to. The important thing is that they should be an honest reflection of your UU Faith. Give it a try. Practice telling other people at church and then you’ll be ready the next time someone asks you, “What is Unitarian Universalism?”
You may get so good at explaining Unitarian Universalism that the next time you step into an elevator, you’ll be the one asking the question, “Do you know what it means to be a UU?”
See You in the RE!