Jul. 9, 2016.
Dear UUCF family,
What a difficult, sad week we have been witness to in the world. I know you join me in mourning the senseless deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, gunned down this week by police officers. And then the news on Thursday night of five officers in Dallas, killed by a sniper during a peaceful Black Lives Matter event. So much sorrow. So much fear and vulnerability. So much trauma. We seek to hold it all in compassion, even as we continue to work for justice.
Community is never more important than at times like these. If you need a place to gather with others, come to UUCF. Tomorrow (Sunday) morning, I will be leading a drop-in Circle of Listening and Song, 9-9:30 a.m., in the Chapel. We will sit in silence together, listening for the inner voice within us. We will speak, as we are moved, of what needs to be said right now. We will sing hymns, if that feels right in the moment. All are welcome. If you need childcare, please bring your children to the Music Room, where Sarah and Brian Jebian will be leading positive, upbeat songs for kids, 9-9:30 a.m. No RSVP required. Then, we’ll transition to the hope and grace of our annual child-friendly animal blessing service at 10 a.m., where we will celebrate the gifts of friendship across all barriers.
Tomorrow (Sunday) night, especially if you identify as white, you are invited to return to UUCF for an emergency meeting of SURJ NoVA (Showing up for Racial Justice – the local chapter of a national network organizing white people for racial justice) on responding to police violence, 7-9 p.m. at UUCF. Childcare will be provided; no RSVP required.
In addition, please save the date for the 6th Summit for UUs and Humanists in our area who are working for liberation from racism: Sun., Jul. 24 at Paint Branch UU Church in Adelphi, MD, 2-6:30 p.m. Watch for more information in our weekly emails.
I also want you to know that UUCF is one of many UU congregations that have responded to a call from Black Lives of UU this week to offer free meeting space to Black community organizers as needed.
There is so much more to do. The work will go on. For now, I urge you to do what you can today and take good care of yourselves. Re-ground yourselves in your spiritual practice and everything that feeds your spirit. Seek out what helps you feel whole. When you’ve caught your breath, take one more action to educate yourself about what’s going on, especially if you identify as white. Following Black Lives of UU on social media is a great place to start.
Dear ones, let us move forward together in compassion and strength. Blessings to you and to all the brave leaders who call us to stretch our hearts. summon our courageand join in the struggle together.
P.S. After this week, I’ll be taking some time away from UUCF to prepare for next year’s sermons and other big projects, then spending a couple of weeks on vacation. Rev. David will be back on Jul. 19 and you’ll see me back on Aug. 21. Take good care and be well.