This last Sunday, we held our first meeting for the UUA’s “Conversations for Liberation”. I am so thankful for Helen, who serves as our UUCL Board Chair, for hosting this conversation. I am also grateful to the folks who attended and their willingness to step into this hard work, even if they felt confused about what exactly this work is all about. Coming together to talk and listen is surely the only way forward.
The UUA asked us to approach this work in a specific way. Below, I’ve quoted what they posted on their website and I’ve noted what I heard in our conversations on Sunday.
“Come to Conversations for Liberation holding these commitments, grounded in Unitarian Universalist values:
First, we recommit ourselves to strive to become a fully inclusive and anti-oppressive community.”
I heard: Things aren’t always exactly the way I like them to be done but I see that other people are being spiritually fed and that is satisfying.
“Second, we recenter the truth-telling that comes from voices at the margins of our faith community.”
I heard: we need to be curious and willing to sit in discomfort. We have so much to learn from the experiences of those at the margins. It’s important for cis-gendered white folks to be humble and to listen.
“Third, we reaffirm that we must lead from the covenant of care that binds us.”
I heard: as we seek liberation for all, we need to discover new and better ways of caring for one another.
Creating a new way means creating new ways of being together. I look forward to having more conversations with everyone. We can only do this work together. We can only defeat the forces of injustice, violence, and hatred with the Power of We.
As we sit in this season of welcoming the light- through candles, through the holy spirit, from the stars and the sun above- let us remember that the light cannot truly shine until we honor it in each and every one of us. And in order to honor it, people must be upheld as worthy and not locked in a cage, beaten down for being trans or Muslim, shot at for being black, or shunned for who they love and what they believe. As a community that seeks to connect, love, and transform for the purposes of liberation for all, we must keep having conversations, listening to voices from the margins, and moving into a brighter and more joyful future.