See Their Faces, Listen to Their Stories

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Thursday Morning Sunrise

“We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation” instructed Pope Francis at his speech to a special join session of congress.  He was speaking about migrants to the U.S. from Central and South America.  There are many things I agreed with in Pope Francis’ speech– and a few things I definitely didn’t.  But what struck me most was the simple fact that the Pope WAS addressing Congress.

We UUs have generally been staunch supporters of ‘separation of church and state.’  But as we have come to understand power more complexly, as we grapple with the fact that our deeply held convictions cannot so easily be removed from our professional lives, ‘separation of church and state’ fails to address so much of the messiness of power in our lives.   Who has power? How do they use it?  There is formal authority and informal authority– which is more effective and when?   And as anxiety-inducing as the topic of authority is for UUs, we must have authority and use it in order to live out our faith.   If we want to co-create a world where all people are treated with dignity and respect, where we do indeed “see their faces and listen to their stories,” we must have authority and use our power.   Where can you claim more power in your life today?

I look forward to worshiping with you all this Sunday (TWO Sunday Services 9:30am and 11am): Below Us, A Foundation of Loss.  “Loss has made a tenous ‘we’ of us all” says philosopher Judith Butler.  If there is one commonality among all humans, it is that we all experience loss.  Worship leaders: Rev Darcy, Janice Goodloe, and Angel Holmes

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