President’s Message for November, 2023

I know a disabled young person in my life who I take to a monthly young person dance party because disabled or not, no one wants to go to a dance with their Mom. This dance party is so fun, and one of the great things is that no one cares that all my moves are da club circa 2006. I was making small talk with an older teen about what brought her to the party. Her face brightened with a beautiful smile. She opened her arms wide, timed to the beat of the music and said:

“It’s the only place where I can just let go and be me.”

We all are wishing for a place where we can go and just be ourselves. We have our beautiful Chalice community that helps us explore belonging and meaning as an expression of our spirituality. I am so heartened by the work of the Imagining Liberation Team, a living expression of the acts of service that fuel a sense of purpose and belonging. In the October 8th service, Julie Mack stated the following when asked how she connects antiracism to spirituality (emphasis mine):

“It’s spiritual to me because our UU principles tell us that we believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. That we believe there should be justice, equity and compassion in human relations. And we have a goal of creating a world community with peace, liberty and justice for all. Yet we live in a society where some people are not seen as worthy. As society that lacks racial justice. That tlacks racial equity. A society where there is not peace or justice for all. And recognizing that fact we are called by our faith to take action.”

I am heartened that our fellow beloved community members are feeling compelled to consider anti-racism a part of their sacred duty to live out our shared principles. We have had these conversations on this year’s Board and it is something we have struggled with as a group. If you are asking yourself how antiracism work could be considered spiritual, some of the answers include:

-It demands introspection. It is good for us to reconsider our thoughts, experiences and beliefs. Insight is good, and the first and hardest step towards change. We will be able to see the ways in which systemic racism affects us all when we cultivate self-awareness.

-Antiracism is a practice in empathy. To have a position of relative privilege in our culture is to walk through the world with an ease that others simply don’t experience. Listening intently to each other’s stories opens us up and softens up our hardened up parts. It brings forth our inner tenderness, often hidden under layers of defensiveness. This defensiveness has allowed us to survive but keeps us wounded and separate from each other.

-Antiracism is our sacred promise with the future. By working hard to build an inclusive and equitable community today, we lay the foundation for a flourishing tomorrow. Our spiritual legacy states that we need to leave this world better for each other than how we found it.

I look forward to this year of discovering what we can do together. The Board is planning on writing a sermon and looking forward to digging deeper.

In love and service,