In late May, I got a call from a reporter at UU World, our denomination’s magazine. She knew we had participated in the #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn during our worship service on April 30th. If you were not able to attend that Sunday, you can hear the service by going to our website: Worship/Past Worship Services/ scroll down to April 30. Or click here for a direct link.
The reporter, Elaine McArdle, said she was reaching out to several congregations that participated, reporting on how it went, and then following those congregations over the next two years to see what happens. She was clear, as are we, that this was not a one time event. Dismantling white supremacy is an ongoing process. Before I responded to her, I reached out to the Board to make sure they were in favor of moving forward. They were.
Elaine and I spoke. She asked questions about how we prepared for the Teach In, who from the congregation was involved, what content we presented, what feedback we got and how we plan to go forward. I told her Rev. Alicia Forde volunteered to preach, our Racial Justice Ministry Team and People of Color Ministry Team were involved in planning and delivering the service. I told her that we are using a resource provided by Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism that describes White Supremacy Culture. No one who attends UU Church of Boulder is a white supremacist, but it does not take white supremacists to hold up and perpetuate white supremacy culture which is based on perfectionism, sense of urgency, defensiveness, quantity over quality, worship of the written word, only one right way, paternalism, either/or thinking, power hoarding, fear of open conflict, individualism, progress means bigger and more, objectivity, right to comfort. I know I struggle with many of those!
Elaine asked to interview the chair of our Racial Justice Ministry Team – Kaitlin Abbitt, and the chair of our People of Color Ministry Team – Will Kropp.
The interviews are complete, and now we wait to see what Elaine writes about our congregation. So watch for UU World. And more importantly, participate in dismantling white supremacy culture at UUCB and the wider world. There will be lots of opportunities to do so, and you are invited!
PPS – You may have noticed there were no sermon titles during May. I was trying an experiment and here is why. It is hard to anticipate the sermon topic weeks before giving the sermon. What if a world event occurs? We need to be responsive to it! Additionally, titles often inhibit my creative process. Guest preachers and the worship team find the same to be true. And yet, I know having titles helps us communicate about what is happening. So, I’m back to using titles for now. I hope you will keep two things in mind. First, the sermon won’t always correspond to the title if a world event or creative idea arises. Secondly, we may go back to omitting titles sometime in the future. I love you all! Rev. K