July 8, 2016

Dear Friends,

I have felt such deepening dread as the news of shootings poured in from the two ends of the Mississippi River, Louisiana and Minnesota – and then more, from Dallas.  Beloved irreplaceable precious lives all, lost to the proliferation of guns, the idolatry of violence and the inexorable grinding of systemic colonialism.

 Sophia Lyon Fahs, UU religious educator who became a minister at the age of 86, wrote: “Life becomes religious whenever we make it so: when some new light is seen, when some deeper appreciation is felt, when some large outlook is gained, when some nobler purpose is formed, when some task is well done.”

Our task to do well is given us by our times and our tears; it becomes even more abundantly clear where we must declare ourselves.  We hear it in the Mayor of Dallas’ cry, “We need to heal our city. We need to heal our country.”

 I confess that a nation in grief and shock juxtaposed with the local Country Fair and the Olympic trials seemed incongruous to me. But I have been re-called to faithfulness by the diversity of colleagues and friends and those with whom I ally.  I thought: it is vital to strengthen ourselves with that which we love, because only love can drive out hate. Let it be our determination, as Barbara Ford writes in her poem “Prayer” to

…choosing the communion

Of broken hearts over isolation,
And with that choosing,
May we act together in love

Toward the healing of the heart of the world.

Let us balance ourselves to be a force among the forces of the world, and know ourselves in natural simple sorrow, outrage and grit.   Beloved regional UUA staff member Jonipher Kupono Kwang  sends words of re – membering.  “ No false hope and no platitudes here.  Mere spiritual practices to sustain me for the journey.  Mere faith in the power of love.”

See you in church.

Rev. Sydney

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