Our theme this month is presence. What does it mean to be a person of presence? A community of presence?
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m living in a society of anxiety. (If you say that out loud, it rhymes.) The presidential campaign created a profound sense of separation, fear, isolation and violence in our communities.
One antidote to these things is presence:
- Being present and attentive to our own emotions so we can be responsive not reactive.
- Feeling the presence of whatever fuels and comforts us.
- Being present with each other as we feel and grieve.
- Being present to the systems of power that create fear and separation.
- Offering presence to those of us (and the Earth) who are targets of isolation and violence.
Each Sunday, and even on Christmas Eve, we will investigate a deeper understanding of these forms of presence. If you cannot attend, our podcasts are a great way to stay caught up. You can find them on our website: http://uuchurchofboulder.org/worship/past-worship-services/
In the meantime, I hope you will find and engage with the spiritual practice that helps you get centered, grounded, and calm. I hope you will form circles of support, as I suggested in my sermon on November 13. I see it happening already, and I know it will strengthen us.
There are endless suggestions online and in the news about how to take action. There is no need to re-invent the wheel at this time. We must leverage the work that has been done already, and we must follow the voices of those most impacted by oppression. I encourage you to consider our local community partners who have been addressing issues of oppression for a very long time. Visit their websites to discern how to volunteer, and donate:
- Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition
- Volunteer to help with citizenship workshops, to be held in early 2017
- AFSC and Coloradans for Immigration Rights,
- Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition (we are members),
- Boulder Showing Up for Racial Justice,
- 5280 Black Lives Matter,
- Out Boulder or email email@example.com (volunteer with the St. Vrain or BVSD Safe Schools Coalition to help with anti-bullying in schools)
- Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Within our congregation, we have groups working for justice.They are meeting to plan ways for all of us to engage and act. You can see when each group meets on the church calendar, and watch our website and the Midweek Messenger for news from them. Or reach out to the leaders:
- Climate Action Ministry: Susan Secord firstname.lastname@example.org
- Racial Justice Ministry (this includes Immigration for now): Neil DiMuccio email@example.com
- LGBTQ Ministry: Jennifer Skiendzielewski who is heading the Task Force that is in place for now: firstname.lastname@example.org
Attend our UUCB Be Present calling or letterwriting campaign events that will combine eating, signing, being together and taking action. December 13 (11:30 – 1:00) and December 15 (6:30 – 8:00 pm). See the Events section of our website for more.
Other opportunities offered by Unitarian Universalist organizations include:
- Subscribe to Just Acts, a monthly UUA newsletter.
- Support Black Lives of UU.
- Support Standing Rock by contributing to Black Lives Matter Stand with Standing Rock Fund, Bismarck-Mandan UU congregation’s ministry to Standing Rock, and the UU Presence at Oceti Sakowin Yurt Fund.
Know that I am present with all of you. I am grateful that we have such a vibrant and loving community to hold us during this time.
As always, love to you,