Join us on Sunday, June 7, at 10 am via webinar for our
service at bit.ly/nwuuc.
Dear NWUUC, it is my great honor to welcome to our virtual pulpit this week Mathew P. Taylor. His bio is shared up in the section about upcoming worship. Do join us if you can. I know you will be inspired by Mathew’s preaching, and energized about the quality of seminarians our Unitarian Universalist faith is ushering into our ministry.
The Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. The Great Depression of the 1930s. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
2020 has a lot in common with all three of these pivotal times in our history, but this time all at once. Whew. It is too much! No one is shielded from the exhaustion that such a set of realities has fostered. It is the natural reaction to feel overwhelmed.
So, let’s take it in one piece at a time, shall we? Let’s take each one of those elements one by one and talk about them.
COVID-19 is still a true and serious threat to our safety. Your congregation and your minister remain committed to keeping you as safe as possible. Until it is relatively safe for ALL of us to meet in person, especially our elderly and our medically at-risk members, we will continue to meet online. We will be doing exciting things with drive-in church in the fall! But for the summer months we will continue to hone our online church skills and meet with each other through the magic of socially-distanced technology, just as we have since mid-March.
Now on to the economic anxiety this pandemic has caused. Friends…what you all did as a community this past Sunday in our congregational meeting made me weep. Money is tight, and we are all a little on edge about it; in our personal lives and in our giving to our faith community. And yet this past Sunday, you came together. You heard each other respectfully. You voiced your anxieties and your hopes. You made compromises. You passed a budget and said yes to a future pre-school! I could not be prouder of the hard work ALL of you who participated put into these important decisions. And, my goodness, what an AMAZING Board of Trustees we have! The countless hours these folks have spent loving and working for our beloved community humble and amaze me. Board, you have my undying gratitude. You have led us well. Pre-school Committee, you get a loud and clear shout-out, too. Well done, and thank you!
Friends, this time of saying loudly and clearly that Black Lives Matter is crucial to our mission in this world. On Friday morning at 11AM (you may have read this newsletter by that time, but many of you will not have) I will be joining other clergy and faith leaders from all around the Atlanta area, at the request of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, in a prayer vigil on the front steps of the State Capitol. Sometimes in the early stages of a movement, public social witness is all we can really do. I assure you that when I learn of Black leaders requesting other kinds of action from supporters, I will share the call with you all. I know you are ready and eager to do what you can to support this vital cause of equality and safety for our Black beloveds. I am too. Stay tuned.
Dearest Black beloveds, you matter to me. You matter to your congregation. Your safety is paramount. And we will support and love you, no matter what it takes.
Dear non-black people of color, you are not invisible. This struggle is more real to you than to your white siblings. I see you. You matter. You are not going to be left behind. Our liberation is bound up in yours too.
Dear white folks, we will make mistakes. May we speak up anyway. More importantly, may we LISTEN carefully anyway. May we do our best, keep learning, and then do even better. It is the only way I know how to keep on moving forward together.
In solidarity, sorrow, hope, and boundless LOVE,
Rev. Misha Sanders