The UUCA Common Read – Rev. William Barber’s The Third Reconstruction

The UUCA Common Read – Rev. William Barber’s The Third Reconstruction


Rev. William Barber is the keynote speaker at the Progressive Religious Coalition’s Interfaith MLK Celebration on January 5th; if you have witnessed the power of the Rev. William Barber’s oratory, in person or perhaps broadcast from the Democratic National Convention this summer, you will know what a powerhouse he is. Rev. Barber is pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro, North Carolina and architect of the Forward Together Moral Movement that gained national acclaim with its Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013. His latest book, The Third Reconstruction, tells the story of how he helped start a movement to bridge America's racial divide.


What is a Common Read? A Common Read invites participants to read and discuss the same book in a given period of time. A Common Read can build community in our congregations and our movement by giving diverse people a shared experience, shared language, and a basis for deep, meaningful conversations. Each year's Common Read is chosen by a committee including both headquarters and field staff of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).


The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear by The Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, published in 2016 by our Unitarian Universalist publishing house Beacon Press, has been chosen as the 2016-17 Unitarian Universalist Common Read. Those attending General Assembly 2016 were electrified by Rev. Barber's call for building and sustaining a movement for justice for all people. The Common Read selection committee believes that now is a moment for Unitarian Universalists to answer that call.

The Third Reconstruction offers helpful, practical guidance for engaging with justice movements born in response to local experiences of larger injustices. Drawing on the prophetic traditions of the Jewish and Christian scriptures, while making room for other sources of truth, the book challenges us to ground our justice work in moral dissent, even when there is no reasonable expectation of political success, and to do the hard work of coalition building in a society that is fractured and polarized.

The UUCA in-person discussion group will have two Wednesday sessions in the Minister’s Study at UUCA at 6:30 pm, January 25th and February 1st. Please sign up at the Welcome Table or online at this form:

Books will be ordered from Beacon Press and will be available for purchase after Sunday service at the Welcome Table, price $16.00.

Unitarian Universalism: A Direction, Not a Path

Unitarian Universalism is not a set of steps one takes to get to a predetermined end point. We do not preach an end, but an ongoing process. We expect to continue to learn; adapting, and improving throughout our lifetimes and passing our mission to future generations. Our heaven, the Beloved Community, will not be a single creation. We expect a perpetual work in progress, constantly adjusting to new needs and new information.


Unitarian Universalism is not a clear path we walk, but a direction we all head in. We get there together, but each of us is allowed our own pace. Each of us sets our own priorities and attends our own spiritual and emotional needs. We may stop and smell the flowers, pick the rocks from our shoe, or wander to see what’s over that hill. Some of us will rush ahead, or where we believe ahead might be, and make notes for the rest to ponder as they plan their path forward. Others will be content following behind the trailblazers and participating in the rituals and milestones created for them.


We do not expect that we will all have the same experiences along the way. Each perspective matters, though, in helping us plan future steps.

From the:  The I Am UU Project