Honest about our selves
After telling some of his experiences as a black UU, Kenny Wiley wrote:
When I think of the best I’ve seen of Unitarian Universalism, I think of courage, of joy in ‘POC’ spaces despite it all, and I think of people just showing up for one another. I think of the courage to stay at the table, to sit with discomfort instead of rushing through it.
Some people call the black women leaders in Black Lives of UU instigators, or harsh, or rude, or faith-killers. I call them some of the truest Unitarian Universalists I know.
Unitarian Universalism is changing. We’re being more honest about our selves and our stories. Yet I have more faith in us than ever. Let’s “take courage” and keep on working. (Facebook, April 23)
This week’s episode of The VUU focused on the stories of UUs of color.
Kim Hampton received well-intentioned messages from white readers about using the word “crazy” in a recent blog post; little did they know it was a test. (East of Midnight, April 25)
Hampton also suggested an interesting option for Mothers’ Day services this year:
You don’t have to do the sappy, Hallmark holiday. And, for those of you UU preachers out there, it is a good way to tie-in what your congregation talked about during the White Supremacy Teach-In. (East of Midnight, April 25)
The Rev. Dawn Fortune made a confession of sorts: “I’ve screwed up justice work for most of my life.”
I expect I will still screw things up as I go. What I need to remember is that we all have to start somewhere. I feel I'm late to the party on a lot of fronts, and in other places I get impatient with folks who are just learning about their own privilege. Compassion is good stuff all around. I need to be compassionate with those just catching up, and I need to be compassionate with myself for not being perfect at this stuff already. (Facebook, April 26)
Mel Pine responded to black UUs and while UU allies, who labeled a previous entry a “blowhard, garbage blog post from one sadly misguided individual.” (Melting-Pot Dharma, April 27)
Honest about our stories
The Rev. James Ford recently arrived at his goal weight through Weight Watchers.
Some people, as they say, “eat to live,” and others “live to eat.” For the first category the deal is fuel. The joy of eating is secondary. Me, I belong fully, unabashedly, in the second category. I love to eat. I eat when I’m sad. I eat when I’m happy. I eat when I’m bored. I eat when I’m engaged. Food is a delight. A pleasure. There are a number of reasons I’ve become the principal cook in our family. But, my enthusiasm for food is a big part of it. I suspect these two different broad categories of people might need to engage the issues of eating differently, at least in some ways. But, for both, noticing what we’re doing is that first step. (Monkey Mind, April 27)
Kari Kopnick, aware that many people struggle with opioid addiction, worried about filling the script her doctor wrote for her.
I filled the prescription but didn’t take any pills for months. I watch my local paper with articles about people who hurt their back or have a surgery and two years later they are in full-on heroin addiction. I know I’m not good at moderation. I didn’t want to start because I wasn’t sure where I would end. (Kari Kopnick, April 26)
John Beckett told the story of why he had to make a clean break from Christianity.
The magic of Catholic saints is nothing like the hellfire and brimstone of Baptist preachers, and for many people that difference is enough to accept the good and reject the bad.
But if I open the door through deep magical and devotional practice, my inner fundamentalist will start to rise from the dead. It didn’t respond to reason before and it won’t respond to reason now – “this Christianity isn’t that Christianity” won’t mean a thing.
Nothing is worth letting that fear back into my life. I will not open that door, not even for access to two thousand years of magic. (Under the Ancient Oaks, April 25)
A bit of fun
Alison Leigh Lilly’s poem “Bemused” gave me a much-needed smile this week. It begins like this:
Petrarch had his Laura,
a phoenix feather for his pen.
Danté’s blessed Beatrice
sent him to hell and back again.
Rilke’s heart-sick panther.
Burns’ wee tim’rous beastie.
None tremble with the thrill I feel
whenever you retweet me. (Holy Wild, April 26)