Deepening Faith. Living Well. Enacting Justice.

President’s Column by Whitney Wheeless

Sisters 2On Saturday, 1/18, I attended and participated in a unique and inspiring event—the ordination of Kierstin Homblette. It was unique because all seven Boulder-Denver Cluster UU churches jointly ordained Kierstin as our Community Minister. This is a first for seven congregations to ordain one person! Our collective congregations represent 2000 Unitarian Universalists in the metro area. Wow!

The ordination was inspiring because of the enthusiasm, genuineness, and passion Kierstin, her colleagues and friends, and the congregation members have toward making a difference in our community. I heard a lot of audience “amens” during the celebration! Kierstin’s work is about enacting justice and building community with interfaith organizations and community partners. She is especially focused on immigration and GLBTQI issues.

As I write my message on this day that we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s life, it gives me a chance to reflect on this weekend’s event. Rev. Alicia Forde provided the sermon at the ordination entitled “Still So Far From the Kin-dom”. It especially resonated with me. We have come a long way toward justice and equality, but we still have a ways to go. Until all people are free from racism, discrimination, hatred, and war, we are not done. That we must achieve peace and justice through love. Another important message for me was that we cannot do it alone—we are a wide circle (draw it wider still). Together we can make a difference.

A reading at the ordination came from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from his address titled “The Role of the Church in Facing the Nation’s Chief Moral Dilemma” (1957):

Our motto must be, “Freedom and justice through love.” Not through violence; not through hate; no not even through boycotts; but through love. As we struggle for freedom in America it may be necessary to boycott at times. But we must remember as we boycott that a boycott is not an end within itself; it is merely a means to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor and challenge his false sense of superiority. But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends. The type of love that I stress here is not eros, a sort of aesthetic or romantic love; not philiu, a sort of reciprocal love between personal friends; but it is ugupe which is understanding goodwill for all men. It is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. It is the love of God working in the lives of men. This is the love that may well be the salvation of our civilization.

An overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. To me this is the crux of Unitarian Universalism—standing on the side of love to enact justice for all. We cannot do it alone, and we desperately need each other. We have a unique opportunity within UUCB and with our fellow ordaining congregations to work together and with Kierstin to change our corner of the world. May it be so. Blessings to you all.


/blog/ subsite developed by Boulder Information Services.