Dear ones all,
These are troubled times. Across the country, people of all ages, distinctions, classes, colors, religions, political parties and others are raising their voices in a cacophony, shouting for fair and due process, demanding equal and fair treatment.
In the past week, a woman of color (who served on the UUA Board of Trustees) was passed over by our UUA in preference for a man with white colored skin (who also served on the UUA Board of Trustees). Since then, there has been a furor over whether the person of color should have been chosen instead? But more, there is a furor over whether we have done enough as a denomination to advance people of color into professional paid positions.
My feeling is that we have not. I have watched our denomination grapple with what is a painfully difficult issue for many years and have myself been part of that effort. I have also watched our denomination cut funds for congregational training on the issue of race at the same time that revenue was dropping for our UUA.
There are not easy answers. No easy fixes. We hold ourselves to very high ideals. We strive and fail. We strive again. Sometimes, we fail again. This time, the outcry has led to the resignation of the President of the UUA, The Rev. Peter Morales, effective 4/1/17. See article HERE.
Since August, we at SUUS have been retooling parts of the congregation to prepare it for more focused attention on spiritual development and justice issues. It is my position that one cannot exist without the other. In the area of justice, we are creating opportunities for individual members to create small group teams to address those justice issues that specifically resonate with each team. The process is still new and in development. Next October, we will be conducting a congregation-wide social justice workshop with the Rev. Art Macdonald as our facilitator. It is a weekend-long workshop designed to help this congregation choose one or two broad justice issues to work on, as a whole congregation, if it so chooses. With these new structures in place, we will be in a better position to chart a course that has the capacity to be nimble in responding to the variety of issues that our society faces at this time and over time.
But, in the meantime, our denomination is struggling to live up to our ideals. I daresay it will always do so. Our nation is doing likewise. It will also always do so. And, it is up to us to continue to adjust and set a course toward greater effectiveness at supporting those at the margins and each other.
The one thing I do know is that the more we are divided and the more we cast blame, the less likely we will accomplish much of anything. Now is the time for us to support each other, including our denomination, while also insisting on accountability and progress toward the support of human rights everywhere.
The arc of the moral universe is long, and we must persevere.