Happy Spring Equinox!
As the early buds of spring appear, I’m finding myself vacillating between the coldness of terrorist acts and the responses that have given my heart warmth and hope. I also am incredibly thankful for this congregation. Let me explain.
The horrors that happened in Christchurch last week was nothing short of a murderous manifestation of white supremacy. It was terrorism, not by our U.S. standards which only classify such extremism in non-white terms, but it was terrorism by any measure of humanity. What warmed my heart? The response of the people and the government. Yes, there were tears, flowers, and gatherings that typically follow such events. There were also students performing the powerful Haka dances (traditional Maori culture) to honor the dead. The Prime Minister donned a hijab to show respect when she met with families of the victims. And, she affirmed New Zealand as a country of immigrants. And she called it terrorism (not an isolated act of an individual) and she refuses to name the gunman. And she immediately changed gun laws. And wow. What leadership.
May we all grieve with our Muslim neighbors here (est. 52,000 in Columbus) and across the world. And may we do the hard and courageous work of dismantling racism in all its forms, including white supremacy and white supremacy culture.
I am grateful for this congregation in so many ways. First, we are working on our own internalized and structural racism. We are listening and learning. I strongly encourage each of you to engage in offerings like Beloved Conversations and other programs and events as they are offered. We also have justice happenings where we ally and walk with our neighbors. And sometimes, we work with others to tackle the systemic issues directly. There are big ways and small ways to get involved. Let us know your interest.
Second, let’s talk about last Sunday. We presented a service on reproductive justice and by all counts, it was appreciated. Thank you. The service featured a video of my testimony – including a round of questions – from a Dec. 11thhearing at the State House. You can see the video and my words from Sunday on our website or go directly to the video here. I will most likely testify again before a different committee on the final round of hearings either on March 27thor April 2nd.
The big thank you is to you. Without you and your vote last year to allow me to speak as your minister, I would be just another person testifying. Because of your vote, I took you with me. My voice was amplified. Our voice was amplified. You were there.
If you ever wonder why you should join the church, just know that when you are a member, not only can you vote, but your vote can turn into something really big thing. Being a member – and voting – matters!
EVERYONE! SAVE THE DATE!
First Friday, April 5th, 6:30pm, Fellowship Hall
Community Stewardship Dinner – Everyone is invited!
Leave the cooking to us…
Come, celebrate community and what we do together – and what is possible. Mark your calendars now. Watch this space and others for more details.
For additional activities and events, please see First UU News (posted on Fridays)
For information about family and child-focused events and classes, or to be added to the RE News mailing list, contact Elizabeth Mount, our Director of Religious Exploration.
Saturday, March 23rd2:30–4pm, Room 7
Poetry of Caregiving
In this workshop designed especially for caregivers, Pat Hurley will show how poetic devices can help you express your feelings and relieve your stress. Pat will read a few poems which she and her late husband Bill wrote during his battle with esophageal cancer, then share prompts to help you start writing your own reflections. No writing experience—or even love of poetry—necessary.
Sunday, March 24th, 9:15 & 11am
“In Each Thing and Every Time” with ourFirst UU YOUTH
We are each seeking truth and meaning in our lives; that’s the keystone principle of Unitarian Universalism. But where do we actually find the deep truths that transform us, and what does it mean when we do?
Monday, March 25th, 7pm, Room 7
Sanctuary Team Meeting
We’ve taken a break from having meetings, but our activities continue. It’s time to gather together to:
- Reflect on where we’ve been
- Share our current work
- Make plans for future activities
- Discuss the new JAM structure for teams, such as Solidarity & Sanctuary
If you’re interested in joining the discussion, come! You can also contact Jan for more information.
SANCTUARY and JUSTICE UPDATES
FILA: First UU’s Benevolence Fund for Immigration Legal Assistance
FILA is up and running and is accepting donations (tax-deductible) and applications for assistance. Brochures detailing the fund are available in the lobby and back hallway, and information is also readily accessible via the church website, at: www.firstuucolumbus.org/fila
Donations can be made via check (made payable to First UU, with FILA in the memo line) or via the website, following the link, above. Questions may be addressed to either Jan Phillips, or via email at: FILA@firstuucolumbus.org
The fund has helped its first person, a mother with two children, helping her pay for her asylum application.
Gift Cardsneeded. Kroger gift cards to help Edith and her family with food while she is in Sanctuary. Give your cards to Jan P. or Ginnie V. in Fellowship Hall after services.
THIS MOMENT IN UU HISTORY
Sponsored by the First UU Archives Team
March 21, 1965
On March 21, 1965 more than 3,000 civil rights marchers left Selma, Alabama, for Montgomery to urge passage of the Voting Rights Act. Four days later, more than 25,000 people entered Montgomery. This successful march followed the tragic events surrounding “Bloody Sunday”. More than 125 Unitarian Universalist ministers participated in the marches.