by Senior Minister Rev. David A. Miller.

I am so proud and honored to be a Unitarian Universalist. With very little exception, I believe that we so badly want to build a beloved community where humans are loved and seen for who they are and that compassion, respect and equality are primary values. It is also true that we may not always agree on the strategy or tactics to achieve this goal. As we do the long, hard work of dismantling oppression and systems of white supremacy, it can be frustrating when we see there is no one right way, no outline, no clear path. We as a faith tradition, a congregation and as individuals have and will continue to try many things. Our hope is that each will lead to some measure of progress.

One area of balance is our shared desire to speak our values boldly in the world and remain open to engaging with those who may not share them. After much discussion, one path for sharing these values was chosen – hanging the Love is Love banner in front of the congregation. In our efforts to live our values and stay open and grounded in love, it is helpful to bring voices of wisdom and experience into our midst to help us chart our course.

This weekend we will hear two of those wise voices as we take action to put our values out into the world.

Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson

Dr. Janice Marie Johnson

The Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson and Dr. Janice Marie Johnson will lead our two services this Sunday. These UU sisters have worked tirelessly for decades within the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and our congregations to end systems of oppression and create Beloved Community.

Hope is the minister for the UU Congregation of Central Nassau on Long Island. She is also a congregational life consultant to the UUA’s Central East Region. Hope is actively engaged in multi-faith ministry, cross-cultural engagement and justice-making. She describes this as a “Sankofa” moment in time when we need to understand the past to be able to deal with the present as we live into the future.

Janice Marie leads Multicultural Ministries at the UUA. She guides strategic initiatives to expand congregational and individual capacity to be welcoming and inclusive. Janice says she is guided by her maxim, “Masakhane.” This rich and resonant word comes from the Nguni family of languages of South Africa. Loosely translated into English it means, “Let us build together.”

Please join us on Sunday as Hope and Janice Marie lead the congregation through a moving program of sermons, reflections, actions and learning.

9:15 a.m. service – Harboring Each Other
This service of bolstering and grounding ourselves in UU values will include a ritual of blessing the new banner that we will hang along Hunter Mill Road during the 11:15 a.m. service.

11:15 a.m. service – Let Us Go, Together!
This is a service of stating our values clearly in the community. During this service the congregation will move from the Sanctuary to the frontage along Hunter Mill Road and hang our new banner.

12:30 p.m. workshop – Moving Forward in Challenging Times (in the Sanctuary). Drop-in child care available.
Join us as we collectively consider how best to engage in diverse ways, small and large, to build and strengthen Beloved Community. No registration required.

Let us join together and ground ourselves in love, hope and compassion for the work of justice we will do together.