The title of my post comes today from the just released “Statement from UU Religious Professionals of Color RE: Baltimore.” Part of the letter is posing the question to the UUA about why can we use our resources for things like the 50th anniversary of Selma but not devote more resources to what I will call BlackLivesMatter organizing? As our hearts are
torn open again and again by Baltimore, Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, Oakland…by Modesto (last year Modesto was ranked the fifth most violent or dangerous city in California), who will we be? What will we do? And how should we invest our resources? These are indeed the questions to be asking. In some places, one may be able to avoid the reality of the struggle. In middle of the Central Valley, in middle of the drought, in middle of our own violence, we are blessed not to be able to so easily deny reality. We are blessed with so much wisdom and compassion in a place that needs our gifts.
Struggling with whiteness, struggling with racism…our Beloved Conversations group had an emotional evening together working through this curriculum designed to engage us spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually in the work of anti-racism. (interested in doing this work too? You can join in next January!) At the end of our gathering, we each wrote a closing statement to share with the group– here was mine (all the feeling words are what participants named as their feelings):
“This is what the work is: awkward, messy, emotional, confused, scattered, overwhelming, silenced, alert, frustrating, fearful, angry, sad, and apprehensive. Let’s continue on to find out what comes next. You rock!”
My dear UU’s of Stanislaus County– you continue to impress me and bust my heart open. I am blessed to be figuring out what comes next with you all!
I look forward to worshiping with you all this Sunday 5/3, where we are blessed with special music from beloved cellist Ira Lehn: I’m Gonna Learn–UUs are known for deeply valuing education and learning– but are we sure we are keeping our minds open enough? What does it take for us to keep on learning?
Bump Up Your Pledge? Because of your generosity and commitment, each of us giving according to our gifts and resources, we are ALMOST to our pledge drive goal. We are down to the wire (the Finance Committee is assembling the budget as we speak!) and are currently $10,000 short. Would you consider bumping up your pledge one more percentage point? $100? $250 $500? With your bump, we can do even more loving the hell out of Stanislaus County! Please email Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org to bump up your pledge.
-Stewardship Team: John Patton, Mary Lee, and Todd Whiteley
All these photos I shared with you are from Baltimore amateur photographer Devin Allen– check out his incredible capturing of the multidimensional humanness in Baltimore right now: https://instagram.com/bydvnlln/