‘What matters is how tuned in you are to who you are, what you want, and your compassion for those around you.’
The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein recommended questions for discernment in the new year: “[What] can I pay attention to and do that will be effective and not paralyzing . . . ? Where will I cultivate beauty, peace and reverence. . . , cherishing the gift of life itself and helping others to do the same?” (Facebook, January 2)
Describing current events as “a blizzard of fear,” the Rev. Karen Hering asked, “How do we find the courage to step into the storm and to follow our hearts despite fear’s fierce grip? To distinguish between the real and the imagined dangers, and to know when even the real dangers are worth risking as we hold our whole life in our hands and consider what we cherish most?” (Karen Hering, January 11)
Responding to the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, the Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw wrote that the onslaught of mass shootings never seems to stop: “They run together in one lump of abomination and I cannot remember which one was the one with all of the children.” (Facebook, February 15)
The Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long noted that “This is, in short, not the first moment of the resistance, and our need to pretend that it is is yet another abdication of our own responsibility. The incredible power that you are seeing now is the articulate determination of people who never should have had to grieve, coupled with the first moment of our own shared listening.” (Facebook, February 20)
Kim Hampton writes, “Please stop telling me the Parkland students ‘get it.’
“Whether the Parkland kids get it or not, the real question is why you good white people didn’t get it before now. And whether you will get it tomorrow when the people who are killed don’t look like you.” (East of Midnight, March 27)
Tina L. Porter hopes that the March for Our Lives leaders from Parkland find time to grieve. “Your actions are a way to grieve—do not discount that. But I hope you are also finding silence somewhere other than on the stage. I hope there will be times to go to the ocean, sit on the sand, and let the weight of the world slip from you for an hour. Maybe two. Know that we who are inspired and thankful for you and all the work you have done and will do, we want this for you. A time of rest, a time of tears, a time of remembering, a time of mourning.” (Tina L B Porter, March 26)
The Rev. Meg Riley addressed the problems surrounding Facebook: “[No] other platform has the reach nor the familiarity that Facebook does. I’ve joined every new one that has come out, and they have been ghost towns compared to the robust presence of people searching for us on Facebook. . . . We live in a radically imperfect world. . . . Still yet, wondrous people live, beauty abounds, and real connections are made with the faultiest of communication tools.” (Church of the Larger Fellowship, March 22)
Liz James explained why deleting Facebook isn’t a cure-all: “[By] all means, #deletefacebook if that’s what it takes. But don’t be under any delusions about what that will or won’t solve. . . . What matters is how tuned in you are to who you are, what you want, and your compassion for those around you. . . . Be someone who isn’t steered by fear, hate, or simple thinking.” (Liz James Writes, March 24)
Like many UUs, the Rev. Ian W. Ridell mourned the death of writer Ursula K. Le Guin: “Her influence on my theology and understanding of human nature and ethics and responsibility is deep—and often I can’t name where it comes from directly. But if I speak of living with uncertainty, or the necessity of doing the work of love, or of elevating relationship above principle, I know that Le Guin is not very deep under the surface.” (Facebook, January 24)
The Rev. Linda Hart shared words of encouragement: “Our beautiful, amazing world is always broken, it seems. Violence erupts, love dies away from neglect or fury, disease invades. It’s always something. We are here to witness the beauty, to lift up and sing the wonder of it all. We are here to create more wholeness and love, as much as it is in us to make it. . . . Take courage, friends. Take courage. The way is always through, and we are not alone.” (Tahoma UU, February 18)
Many UUs participate in lively discussion of a wide variety of topics online. Keep up with the conversation: Read UU World’s Editors’ Blog, where you’ll find links to each week’s best commentary.
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The Rev. Heather Christensen wrote The Interdependent Web, UU World's weekly guide to Unitarian Universalist blogs, from 2011 until 2020. She lives with her two young children in Bellingham, Washington.