In deep love from Rev. Ian

he past weeks in our country have shaken many of us to the core. The revelations of the congressional hearings, continued gun violence, the attacks on trans youth and their families, and the Supreme Court’s removal of the protection of the rights of women and many trans folks to control their own bodies and choose how and if they want to bring life into the world.

I’ve heard from so many of you about the fear and anger and confusion that you are feeling—and your fierce call to act to bring change, to ensure health and fairness for all, to help the most vulnerable among us to access the health care they need to keep themselves and their families safe. We’ve been sharing resources by e-mail and our newsletter and on our Community of UUCOD Facebook page. And there will be more. We will work together to bring the change we want to see in the world.

Not in spite of our faith and our values, but because of them. Because our Unitarian Universalist principles and tradition call us to recognize and defend the right of all of us to control and make decisions about our bodies. Our sacred, beautiful, and powerful bodies. Whatever sex or size or shape or color, our bodies are a gift and we must be free and empowered to make our own decisions about how we will care for and live in those bodies.

And even as we make plans and share our strong convictions, remember to reach out to each other. Check in with each other. Each of us reacts differently to these challenges and each of us—each of our bodies and spirits—needs to be cared for and loved. Call each other and ask how things are going. Call each other and ask for help. Those whose actions are shaking us rely on us being separated from each other. Remember that we are a loving, caring community as well as one which will fight for justice and fairness.

When we have gathered together in small groups to grieve and connect after the mass shootings and after the Supreme Court’s rulings, after we hear each person’s sharing, we have responded, “We hear you. We love you. You are not alone.”

Remember that.
Listen to each other.
Love each other.
And always remember, you are not alone.

 

Minister’s Message Recent Posts

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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.

How do we respond to the pain and anxiety and violence in the world around us?

My friends,
As I sit to write this column for you there are bombs and deadly artillery falling on the people of Ukraine, there are children and families in Texas and Florida whose governments are telling them that their love and very existence is wrong and abusive and abhorrent, and there are still thousands and thousands of people sick and dying in our communities and around the world—dying from disease, but also from a lack of care and love and commitment to health for all.

Bread not Stone: A Bowl of Stones and Shells

Dear Friends,
I have a little bowl of stones and shells on my bedside table. I know that they came to me, one by one, from almost every place I’ve been and moments I’ve shared with loved ones and colleagues. But I couldn’t tell you where each individual stone came from.

Bread not Stone: Minister’s Message

My friends,

As I sit to write this column for you there are bombs and deadly artillery falling on the people of Ukraine, there are children and families in Texas and Florida whose governments are telling them that their love and very existence is wrong and abusive and abhorrent, and there are still thousands and thousands of people sick and dying in our communities and around the world—dying from disease, but also from a lack of care and love and commitment to health for all.

Bread not Stone: Living in Love

February is a time when we often focus on love in all of the ways it plays out in our hearts and lives.
I am so often inspired by the words and thinking of others, and so this month I wanted to share with you some things that inspire me when I think about love and how we craft it together.

Bread not Stone: Resolving to Love

It’s a new year by our calendar. It’s a new year by the sun and the stars and the moon. It’s a time when so many of us make plans to change who we are, how we are in the world, how we are living in our bodies. We make resolutions to change our wretched, lazy lack of discipline in some area of our life and to start anew with new discipline and commitment and focus.

Bread not Stone: Beloved

Last month I shared from the pulpit my conviction that the values that we share and express as Unitarian Universalists call us to do the work of love, justice, and inclusion. For me, this is not just the work of one sermon or worship service but our daily lives.

Bread not Stone: Gathering

When I was at university in Toronto, I was usually unable to travel back to my parents’ home for Thanksgiving weekend and so I would usually have Thanksgiving dinner with my aunt’s family there in the city. (I was in Canada, so Thanksgiving was in October!) It was always a wonderful time. The opportunity to gather together around food was wonderful, of course, but it was also deeply meaningful to gather together around ideas and values: family, gratitude, generosity.
I know that our congregation and our UU tradition and values have become that gathering place for so many of us. A place we can gather together to explore our values, to hear and share stories of our lives, to be grateful for what we have, and to be mindful of how we live together in the world.