Dear UUCJ Family,

As many of you are aware, our UUA President, Rev. Peter Morales, resigned his position on April 1 in response to an unfolding controversy about alleged discriminatory hiring practices at the UUA during his administration. Details of the controversy and Rev. Morales’s resignation have been, and are being, covered extensively by our Association’s official magazine, The UU World. (http://www.uuworld.org/). Needless to say, this has been a difficult time for many in our faith. Sadness, anger, frustration, disappointment: These are but a few of the words that have been used by UUs across our Association to describe their reaction to these recent events. But challenging times can also serve as times of great opportunity. In this time, we have an opportunity, as a people of faith, to engage in deep introspection and reflection about our identity, our values, and how we express those values in our individual and collective lives. In response to these recent events, a call has been issued by BLUU (Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism—an organizing collective that works to provide support, information, and resources for Black Unitarian Universalists) to UU congregations across the Association to dedicate a coming Sunday worship service to exploring the topic of “White Supremacy.” Our understanding of this term—how it is defined, to whom it is applied—is a central feature of the controversy currently facing the UUA and its member congregations. Dozens of UU ministers have already answered BLUU’s call by agreeing to address the topic in an upcoming Sunday service at their respective congregations. I plan to join these ministers by addressing the topic in our worship on Sunday, May 21. (BLUU specifically requested that UU churches address the topic on either April 30 or May 7; unfortunately, UUCJ’s calendar does not present a good opportunity to devote an entire service to this issue until May 21). In addition to a worship service dedicated to unpacking the concept of “White Supremacy,” I plan to help facilitate a listening circle for our community immediately after worship on May 21 to provide our congregants a safe and sacred space to share from the heart and hear each other’s voices. Confronting racism—in our nation, in our own church, and in our own lives—is hard, painful work. But it is the kind of work our faith calls us to do. I look forward to facing these challenges with all of you—together—as we strive to embody and incarnate the Beloved Community.

 

In Faith,

Phillip

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