One of our Make It So goals is to live our values. I often think of our congregation as a laboratory where we get to try iut new waya of being and making what we want in the larger world true among us. For me, this is why it is worth investing in our congregational community in the ways that it would not be if it were just a social group.
In religious community, we remember that we are bound to higher aspirations then we can actually know. So our efforts, stumbling and imperfect as they are, try out new ways are essential to being able to see our commitments as more than just words. Those who are willing to take risks, to be present, to listen and to speak their own troops allow the transformation that can occur.
In community, when we encounter places of difference or difficulty, we have the commitment to work through it and to try to learn from one another’s perspectives. We take on hard challenges of repairing and addressing injustices and seeing one another whole.
This Sunday we reconsider the ongoing struggles around race in our society and in our religion. I’m proud that we’re doing this as a congregation at our service on Sunday morning with inspiring music, testimonials from members and the engaging rituals of our community.
I know some of you might decide not to participate in this conversation or to walk away and I understand the need for people to take space. However I really appreciate those who are willing to stay engaged, to be open hearted and to consider that there may be things that their particular social location in life has not allowed them to experience, things that they could learn from been listening to the experiences of others.
In this particular engagement on Sunday, we will have the chance to learn and listen to several people of African descent from among the membership of our congregation in particular sharing their experiences around race at MDUUC. Linda Russell, the tireless leader of our Beloved Commitment group will participate, as well Rowena and Alan McGregor, two of our members of longest-standing. I look forward to hearing feom these committed people.
We will also have the opportunity to take a special collection that is being held for the Movement for Black Lives UU. This is part of a commitment that was made last year by the Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees. (You can learn more here at https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.uua.org/giving/areas-support/funds/promise-and-practice&ved=0ahUKEwjAyfTLwKPXAhUQ0GMKHY2HAioQFggwMAM&usg=AOvVaw2DF_sLP26TZWp24S4qtSsG)
I want to thank all of those who have engaged in direct conversation with me, with other ministers, with our leaders in our beloved conversations. I really feel heartened by those who have taken seriously are make it so vital to the goal of being exuberantly multicultural.
We cannot be exuberant until we are able to be truly engaged. We cannot begin to build the Beloved Community, a place where all are valued until we look at the ways that we just found some. Though challenging, this work in my experience is not discouraging. When we have those moments of connection and excitement, joyous moments abound. So I’m grateful for each of you who will show up on Sunday morning, knowing that sometimes challenge brings growth and growth brings new possibilities.
This will be a weekend of community. I look forward to seeing you at Saturday night ServU event and then again on Sunday morning for this important service, marking our continued engagement with our Association’s efforts to be more welcoming and more inclusive, to live our values and to take on the challenges of our times.