In peace and love from Rev. Ian
In her novel Akata Woman, Nnedi Okorafor writes, “Everyone is connected to something. Connection brings you benefits, but it also makes you responsible.” It is a reminder to one of the characters that she is responsible for the health and safety of her community.
We understand ourselves to be both individuals with inherent worth and dignity, with rights and freedoms, and part of a vast web of existence, woven together, drawing strength from each other and our connections, but also acknowledging that these connections bring responsibilities. It is not just freedom we gain by being part of this religious tradition. Here we also find a call to responsibility: responsibility to each other, responsibility to the values we profess, responsibility to the beckoning of that which we hold most high: love.
When we welcome new members into our community, we ask them to affirm that “In joining the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Desert we affirm those principles of freedom and responsibility upon which this church is founded. We bring our talents and enthusiasm and ask that you reach out to welcome and invite our participation in this community.”
As we head into the warmer months of the year, months which may invite us into slowing down and taking time to reflect while we avoid the heat … I invite you to ponder the ways in which our community calls you to responsibility as well as freedom and connection.
How are we responsible to each other?
Are we responsible for each other?
And what does our commitment to be responsible to each other and our values call us to bring to the world and this community
How are we to live together, to relate to each other if we understand ourselves as responsible to each other?
I hope that you find ways to stay cool. I hope that you can find ways to remember those who live in our cities without the luxury of air conditioning or, often, even shade from the heat of the sun. Drop a case of water off at one our city’s cooling centers, hand out umbrellas, hand out bottles of water.