I love these words from my friend Ruth McFarlane, who spoke at the women’s march in San Francisco and works at the National Center for Lesbian Rights:
“Some of us will grieve, some of us will hope. And some of us will make the food. And some of us will raise the children. And some of us will teach the children. And some of us will negotiate in the Board room. And some will argue in the courts. And some will fight fires. And some will heal bodies. And some will compromise. And some will refuse to compromise. And some will make signs. And some will dance, and make poetry and tell stories and draft legislation and invent new technologies. And gather us together to pray. And gather us together to walk off the job. We will sit in silence, we will raise our voices in resistance.”
It has been a full and scary week–the pace and kind of change occurring in the federal government is as bad as many feared. When we are afraid, our lizard brains fire up and it can feel like we have to fix everything, save something QUICK QUICK QUICK. Of course we need to do some stuff. But YOU do not have to do EVERYTHING. All you got to do is SOMETHING. And there are so many different kinds of things to do.
I felt both excited and conflicted after a photo of me at the Solidarity Vigil was featured on the front page of the Modesto Bee. Part of me was like “wahooo!” But then I thought about all that WAS NOT in the picture. You didn’t see Rev. Joshua Trautmann from Geneva Presbyterian circulating in the crowd, keeping an eye out for an safety/security issues. You didn’t see Rev. Erin Matteson and Rabbi Shalom Bochner rehearsing the songs we sang. And the photo didn’t feature Imam Kayello or AME Zion pastor Rev. Wayne Taylor or community organizer Homero Meija, or president of the NAACP Frank Johnson. Or Tina G. making the promotional flyer.
It is cliche to say “it takes a village” but friends, it takes a village. Unfortunately, our cameras don’t capture “the village” as easily as they capture “the individual.” If you are already doing your part in the village by cleaning carpets and moving furniture; sitting on the finance committee, teaching an RE class, singing in choir, leading worship, organizing protests, asking for pledges, GREAT. And if you realize you should be pitching into the village a bit more? Great, the UUFSC village welcomes you.
Let us continue to do the work of learning to see and feel what the cameras will never show us!
This Sunday, Todd Whiteley, Elaine Arnold, and Sabine Klein will lead worship: Waiting for the Light–Hope as an action verb. It informs us that even as we wait, we need not be immobile. We can prepare our world and ourselves to receive the thing we hope for, and sometimes achieve that very thing we hope for, through our communal efforts.
Also this Sunday, if you haven’t already participated, please join in the second Mission Statement Feedback Session. The mission guides and offers direction to congregational leaders as we face decisions about how to best use our precious resources.
On Tuesday, please consider joining and spread the word about the opening meeting for Exploring Whiteness, Showing Up for Racial Justice on Tuesday evening January 31st. More details here: http://www.stanuu.org/exploring-whiteness-showing-racial-justice