Dear First UUers,
“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.” Theodore Parker, Unitarian minister, (1853)
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1956)
Sometimes there are holes in the universe. Gapping voids that separate it from any sense of morality or justice. The arc might be long, but our eyes can only see suffering of the here and now. Yet, we hold onto hope.
Often, we place our hope on individuals who lead. To various degrees we follow. But when those leaders are gone, the holes get bigger, especially in our hearts. On Sunday morning, news of Rubén Castilla Herrera’s sudden death began to spread throughout the immigrant and activist communities. Rubén, known to many First UUers (he spoke at a Beloved Conversations panel in January and at previous discussions on Sanctuary), was an outspoken critic of U.S. immigration policies. More than speaking out, Rubén connected communities across Columbus and Ohio. He saw the needs of people on the margins and worked to build relationships to more established communities. This is not easy work. It takes a toll.
As we grieve Ruben’s passing, on the heels of Amber Evans’ tragic death, I wonder who will lead now? Yes, the marginalized communities will raise up other leaders, but how long before the non-marginalized begin to listen – and act. Their work would not be so difficult if the moral arc was bending toward justice in a more visible way.
Truth is, bending that arc is not a spectator sport. For anyone. We have a role to play. But first, we must grieve. On Sunday evening from 5–6:30, we will hold a vigil in the sanctuary for anyone who would like to come, sit, light a candle, speak softly.
You are also invited to a panel discussion on the “Societal Effects of White Privilege” this Sunday from 12:45–2pm. The panel will explore racism vs. bias, institutional racism, and societal trends. This event is sponsored by First UU’s Caring Team.
May we all see our neighbor’s pain and struggles and open our hearts. There by grace so go we.
Blessings to all,