Ponderings of the Spiritual Life Director 11-20-19

As I quickly sink into the depths of the holiday season and become abundantly…distracted, I turn to some of my most-loved inspirational sources of wisdom to keep me on track. adrienne marie brown is one of those sources for me.

On Monday night, I gathered together with other UUCL board members to sort through the work that you all did at our last town hall meeting. The work was rich, and it gives us a good starting point for writing a new mission statement that speaks to the power of who we are and what we can do together. Two things were clear: this congregation deeply values the connections we have with one another and yearns to create abundant justice in the community around us.

So, as I ask myself how I can help us frame this so that we can live into what we yearn to do, I turn to adrienne marie brown’s infinite wisdom. Here’s some advice from her that can begin to reshape our thinking:

“We currently live in a reality of scarce justice, scarce attention, scarce liberation. It makes us believe that we must pit ourselves against each other with our harm, with the worst things that have happened with our lives. Where we’re like, my worst thing is worse than your worst thing. We’re like, “How come your worst thing gets attention and my worst thing didn’t?”

That scarcity is the lie. Actually the society we want to build, the society we want to structure and move toward is one in which there’s abundant justice, abundant attention, abundant liberation, where there is enough for all of us to feel attended to.”

I strive to help create a community at UUCL in which we all feel attended to by one another. If we can figure out how to do this amongst ourselves, we can be good role models for the communities around us- communities that share our same values- and we can connect and spread the abundant justice and liberation to others who need it by modeling connection and love for one another.

adrienne marie brown offers us questions that we can ask ourselves as we keep working towards this new kind of community. These are the kind of questions that I’m going to write down and post in a few key places to inspire my movement forward, to keep me on the right track towards justice, to remind me of what I need to do to create abundant attention for all of you and others around us. This wisdom is from her book Emergent Strategy:

[D]o I embody “fractal,” am I paying attention from the smallest to the largest scale to how change happens? Do I embody being “decentralized,” am I actually sharing leadership with people in an authentic way all around me? Do I embody “creating more possibility,” or am I regularly trying to narrow everyone down to my way only? Or, can I actually allow biodiversity of ideas and ways and being?

If you want to read more, or if you need a deeper context for her ways of thinking, check out this interview in “Yes” magazine:


Also, I do own copies of her books, and I’d be willing to let you look them over if you want to see if they’re something you might want to order (it’s so hard to part with them when I use them for inspiration on a regular basis!). Oh, and she has her own blog (just Google it).

I look forward to finding the ways in which we can create an abundance of connection and justice at UUCL! Through our connections we can build individual- and communal- strength and resilience so that we may keep on towards our mission, doing our part to create more love, more hope, more peace, and more joy!

I’m taking a (partial) break next week (that means I’ll be out of town, I’ll still be working, but I won’t be doing all the things), so I’ll wish you now a Happy and Abundant Thanksgiving with friends and family.

And, just a reminder, if you haven’t ordered your copy of An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, now would be a great time!