Imagine the message and values you care about shared in French. You do not have to imagine. “La Communauté Sans Frontières, Unitarienne /Universaliste” is a Ministry venture that seeks to serve the French speaking community in Saskatoon, in Canada and the world!
The reality is that U/Uism is packaged in English and its culture. When one looks up Unitarianism or Unitarian Universalism, everything that comes up is in English and a little bit in Spanish and some pieces in French. The materials available in French do not give enough material for people to understand and connect.
The U/U faith has a lot to offer to the world. I am here to tell that story. When I was in prison, two particular members of my congregation in Bujumbura kept me informed about the efforts to get me out of jail. They would say, 918 people have signed the petition so far or another letter was sent to the embassy today or someone from the Philippines inquired about your situation and so on. Every day at 6PM, everyone would go home and I would stay alone in a dark locked room. I would think about many things, including the risks of not getting out alive. I would also think about all the positive energy being sent my way and what I share with the people who were fighting my fight. Like me, they valued freedom of speech, the democratic processes in our congregations and institutions, the worth and dignity of every person. We shared values and we shared our humanity. The flaming Chalice kept coming to my mind as a symbol of what we share. Care for others, sacrifice for others including those we do not know, have not met and probably will never meet. The values we stand for can and do save lives. It did in the past, it does today and will do in the future. If my life could be used to tell that story of love, of resistance, of care, of speaking truth to power, it would be worth doing and that is the story I want to tell to as many people as possible, in as many languages as possible and this time in French. U/Usm represents the worldview that supports those values and a spirituality that in the words of William R. Murry has to do with “genuineness, depth and devotion to values other than my own self-interest”.
U/Um is a faith that has been transformative for many people who have been in contact with it and embraced the values that the faith promotes.
Rev Fulgence Ndagijimana