As we face a new year, we face a moral reality which will challenge our values and resolve. In the coming months we will be called to stand in solidarity with those marginalized and afraid. We will be called to stand up for our planet and its future.
This past week the president of the UUA, the Rev. Peter Morales, wrote to his colleagues asking them to lead their congregations in fostering “sanctuary and resolve”. I found those words comforting as we find our way forward. Our congregation is a sanctuary. We provide support for those in need and seek wisdom from the ages to help us navigate our days. We provide education and music and opportunities to all those who cross our threshold. I cherish this ministry we are doing together.
We will also need the resolve to carry on through our own lives and the life of our nation. I am pleased to see so many women and men joining our bus to Washington on January 21st for the Women’s March on Washington. Many more opportunities to enact our faith will be forthcoming.
In recent days our Intern Minister, Lara Fuchs and I have been discussing those writings which inspire us to follow our prophetic imperative. We agreed that the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are among the most powerful. His “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” answers the hesitancy those of privilege have to taking up the cause of justice. He reminds us that those who say “wait” only add to the struggle for the marginalized to be free. I turn to that document often when discerning how best to lead. His “I Have a Dream” speech is the stirring vision of beloved community we all are working towards. And finally, his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech delivered the night before he was assassinated reminds us of the long arc of justice and our need to inspire resolve in the generations who follow us.
Most of my preaching will focus on finding sanctuary and meaning for the days ahead. The opportunities to learn and act will become more and more evident as we move through our New Year. There are several opportunities to learn which I want to highlight. On certain Sundays in January after the second service I will be talking with parents and others about how to talk with our children about God, Death and this new moral reality we are living in. At the end of the month we will be discussing our all congregational reading of Waking up White by Debbie Irving.
Most of all, please know that whatever struggle you are facing you are not alone. Please call me at the church or email me and let’s set up a time to talk.
With Grace and Grit, Rev. John