It’s the first Sunday to reflect upon Revelation as our theme, and you are invited to take up a challenge to open yourself to learning something about yourself and the state of racial justice in our community.
For several years, Unitarian Universalists across the country have taken up the call to affirm that Black Lives Matter. Many churches have strung banners up along roads or on their buildings. Some have proclaimed it by holding vigils outside on a street corner holding “Standing on the Side of Love” banners and signs that proclaim their belief in the value of Black lives. Others, like us, have opened conversations about the complexity of race in the United States: the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement, the Drug War and its impact on African American communities, as well reflecting on issues of white fragility, white supremacy, and white privilege.
We offer you an opportunity this week. You are invited to take a button that reads “Black Lives Matter” and to wear it for a month. We’ll offer you some reflective questions, give you cards you can hand to people who you speak with to let them know where you’re from, and something of what inspires your willingness to make this statement. The cards read “We are called to love our neighbors and welcome the stranger. In the face of fear, we stand on the side of love.” There will be a gathering after the service for us to consider responses we can offer if invited into conversation.
While this is an opportunity to communicate a position or idea that you support — or struggle with — it’s most importantly a time to engage in conversation with others, some who you don’t know, some who are close to you. Conversation opens a doorway to reveal something about yourself and to hear another’s truth. If what is shared is far apart, there’s another opportunity to move toward understanding. Listening, really hearing another’s view, and speaking your own clearly is difficult — challenging — but it is also key to growing in wisdom and understanding.
We are all invited to be on a journey of discover. I encourage you to come along and see what you might find.