As a community of conscience, I trust that we will care for each other by standing up for our values and our dreams for justice in America. As a spiritual home, it is our responsibility to offer hope and leadership, and I know we can fill that role with wisdom and tenacity.
Some things that give me hope:
1 We're looking inward to our personal role in race, racism and racial justice as part of our first step in the Social Justice Initiative. Some members of our congregation and Board of Trustees have already begun to read the book 'Waking Up White' by Debby Irving. We encourage others to pick it up. It's an accessible and personal account that is a great starting point for this conversation.
2 The new rainbow UUA banner (see below and here) that articulates so many of the reasons I am proud to be a UU. I can't wait until we have one of these to hang in front of UUR.
3 All the ongoing individual stewardship meetings taking place within the church membership. Our connection to each other, knowing each other more deeply, is what makes us a strong and and impactful community. Canvass is an important piece of our work and allows us to be a strong presence in the lives of our members and the community.
4 The Rockland City Council's Resolution to Promote an Open, Respectful, Healthy Community. I'm proud to be a part of a church that will sign on to this statement of community justice.
5 Websites that help me make sense of what I should be doing. 5calls.org and the weekly Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience are two of my favorite resources.
As we approach canvass and the auction, think about what pieces of this church community give you hope and inspiration, and what challenges you. Talk about those things with your canvasser -- the conversations that we have during stewardship really impact decision-making throughout church leadership. With successful stewardship our church foundation will remain strong, our programs will continue to thrive, and our work for justice at every level will continue to grow and strengthen. Hard work is the best cure I know for an aching heart, and I plan to take that ache and turn it into action, as best as I can.
Thank you, Reba Richardson
The First Universalist Church in Rockland stands with other UU churches Worldwide to take the Declaration of Conscience.
If you would like to join this commitment to speak out and to act in support of basic human rights, please join us at: http://connect.uusc.org/l/103112/2017-01-17/gpgn2
Declaration of Conscience
At this extraordinary time in our nation’s history, we are called to affirm our profound commitment to the fundamental principles of justice, equity and compassion, to truth and core values of American society.
In the face of looming threats to immigrants, Muslims, people of color, and the LGBTQ community and the rise of hate speech, harassment and hate crimes, we affirm our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
In opposition to any steps to undermine the right of every citizen to vote or to turn back advances in access to health care and reproductive rights, we affirm our commitment to justice and compassion in human relations.
And against actions to weaken or eliminate initiatives to address the threat of climate change – actions that would threaten not only our country but the entire planet – we affirm our unyielding commitment to protect the interdependent web of all existence.
We will oppose any and all unjust government actions to deport, register, discriminate, or despoil.
As people of conscience, we declare our commitment to translate our values into action as we stand on the side of love with the most vulnerable among us.
We welcome and invite all to join in this commitment for justice.
The time is now.