There are members and friends of this congregation from all living generations. There are people in this congregation who suffered from the violence of war, the violence of racism, the violence of political upheaval, the violence of terrorism and many other forms of violence. They are all heartbreaking. It seems we are going through a period of time where violence is finding new ways to harm hearts, minds and bodies. And perhaps the biggest threat is its potential to give rise to the fear, reaction and othering that tear at the fabric of human relationships. In this congregation we have members, friends and family who are police officers.
In this congregation we have members, friends and family who identify as people of color. In this congregation we have members, friends and families who have differing views on the politics of the day. It is not the job of this congregation to be all things to all people, but to love equally and support the furthering of human compassion, engagement, kindness, civility and love. Our mission, direct from the “About Us” section of our website is, “to transform ourselves, our community and the world through acts of love and justice.” Not everyone will agree on what acts of love and justice look like, so it is a time to increase our communication, to become more engaged, to open our ears, eyes and hearts ever wider.
In a time when it seems we don’t have space to grieve one terrible event before another confronts humanity’s balance, we enter a period of increased need for each other, for love to be lived more boldly in this world and for our UUCF community to be there as a place of safety and spiritual grounding.
I am back in the office tomorrow. Rev. Laura will be back soon and our new intern will be starting in mid-August. Along with the Pastoral Care Team, Worship Team and other leaders of the congregation, we will be there to provide meaningful worship, deep listening and opportunities for us all to be held in the embrace of this community of love. We are all human; it won’t always be easy, but I continue to believe it is important for us to model here the world for which we hope and pray. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those suffering through these terrible events. The hope for our actions is the transformation that comes through acts of love and justice – with a lot of emphasis on love.