We can help our struggling loved ones by reassuring them that they can bring us their pain without guilt or shame. This article from Omid Safi is a good place to start.
“UU Ministry for Earth’s Program Director, Aly Tharp, recently gave a TEDx Talk at her alma mater, Austin College, speaking of the importance of creating social transformation to avert climate chaos. ” read the whole article here.
It is Transgender Day of Remembrance. Here are some thoughts: from Rev. Sean Dennison
Today is a sacred day,
a day to remember and mourn,
a day to count the cost of so much hatred.
But don’t think that saying the names
of my 368 siblings–
(a number that rises so fast that by the time
we are done with our rituals, it may be more,
and more again)
almost all of them my sisters,
black and brown sisters–
don’t think saying their names
It will never be enough.
Each year I am asked to absorb
the losses of hundreds
of my people, my family.
To use the word “tragedy,”
instead of genocide.
To express grief
instead of rage.
I am tired.
For decades now, I have mourned.
For decades now, I have politely
listened to lists of names, mispronounced
and loved too late, honored only
I want to know.
Can you love me while I live?
Can you love my siblings?
My black and brown sisters?
Can you love them no matter
the choices they made to survive?
Can you love them politically?
Can you love them personally,
allowing them to come into your church?
I am tired.
Because these hundreds of names
are not even all.
These are only the ones who died
at the hands of someone else’s hatred.
That number does not count the ones
I have lost to self-hatred, to despair,
to hunger and cold.
It does not count the ones who are dying inside
because seeing all this,
they don’t dare to live.
So today, when you ask me to perform
my grief and sorrow on your stage,
Do not be surprised if it comes with
rage. If it comes with weeping so fierce
that I cannot speak, cannot breathe.
If it comes with wailing so loud
that (if only, if only) it could wake the dead.
And tomorrow, when the world moves on,
and I am left alone again,
with all of this,
all my beloveds dead
all my people endangered,
all the pieces of my broken heart
still piercing and bleeding,
still heavy with grief,
Will you still remember?
And more importantly,
What will you do?
This evening there is a vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance this evening in Morgantown at the Morgantown Church of the Brethren-Mennonite at 6pm.
What is Indigenous Peoples’ Day?
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday that celebrates the history and contributions of the indigenous peoples of North America.
It is observed on the second Monday of October, thus coinciding with Columbus Day, a United States federal holiday commemorating the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492. This holiday is increasingly controversial due to the catastrophic impact of the arrival of European settlers on Native Americans. Consequently, several states do not recognize the holiday, and others celebrate it as Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a counter-celebration and protest against Columbus Day: South Dakota officially celebrates Native American Day on the same day as Columbus Day, and other states have an “American Indian Day” (eg. Tennessee and Nevada) or “American Indian Heritage Day”. The dates differ from state to state. The state of Vermont and the city of Phoenix, Arizona, declared their first Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 2016. from CalendarPedia
Often children are taught about 1492 and his three ships and not much else. There were serious repercussions to his invasion and the following conquests of the Americas. Repercussions that are still affecting us today. We need to take it on. For more information.
As a way of celebrating and educating, I thought a podcast was in order. I hope you enjoy the VUUs discussion of Taking on the Doctrine of Discovery with Kia Bordner and Rev. Clyde Grubbs.
The VUU streams live on Facebook every Thursday at 11 am ET. We talk social justice, Unitarian Universalism, religion, spirituality, and whatever else is topical and interesting!
Hosts: Meg Riley, Michael Tino, Aisha Hauser, and Christina Rivera; production support provided by Jessica Star Rockers.
The VUU is brought to you by the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
Yesterday, we posted about the prison strike and the UUA’s call to action. This episode of the VUU is all about Worthy Now, CLF’s Prison Ministry and how we can help.
The VUU is hosted by Meg Riley, Michael Tino, Aisha Hauser and Christina Rivera, with production support provided by Jessica Star Rockers.
The VUU streams live on Thursdays at 11 am ET.
Note: This audio has been slightly edited for a better listening experience. View the live original recording on Facebook.
I found this video from CBS News about Puerto Rico facebook this morning, along with a plea from a friend asking how to help. Many of us feel powerless in these natural disasters. We feel too far removed and lacking in resources to help on a large scale. But there are ways to help.
There are many places to donate, which becomes confusing and reputable charities seem harder and harder to find. Here is an article from Public Radio International about how to help Puerto Rico and here is a great website that helps you navigate charities and donations. Here is the UUA Disaster Relief Fund should you want it.
Some of us also want to pray, so here is a beautiful prayer written by UUA staff member Anna Bethea and translated by Rev. Jorge Espinel of the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
A Prayer for Hurricane Recovery
The quickness of nature to tear up roads, strip trees, and collapse buildings
Doesn’t compare to the long process of survival and recovery.
Splayed electric lines, floodwaters, and landslides mark devastation,
Yet will never match the lives, dreams, and memories of precious things swept away.
Amidst the dirt and muck, families get up another day to search for clean water and food
While struggling to stay cool and communicate with loved ones,
There is time for tears and emotional release.
While watching, waiting, adjusting, surviving,
There is time for embrace, reunions, prayers.
A return to normal is hard to even imagine – months and years away.
Trauma is a time for us to center the sacred:
The core of who we are, shielded from any storm or disaster.
As we seek resources for immediate needs,
May we also tend to our own and our communities’ needs to restore hope, love, and the seeds of new life.
Oración por la Recuperación del Huracán
La velocidad con la que la naturaleza destruye carreteras, derriba árboles y tumba edificios, no se compara con el largo proceso de supervivencia y recuperación.
Líneas eléctricas derribadas, inundaciones y derrumbes son señales de la devastación pero no se comparan con las vidas, los sueños y los recuerdos de cosas valiosas que han sido arrasadas.
En medio de la basura y el fango las familias se levantan día a día a buscar agua limpia y comida, mientras se esfuerzan por permanecer en calma y comunicarse con sus seres queridos.
Hay tiempo para llorar y soltar las emociones mientras observan, esperan, se ajustan y sobreviven. Hay tiempo para abrazos, reuniones y oraciones.
Es difícil imaginarse lo que es volver a la normalidad, que puede tardar meses y años.
Los momentos de trauma son momentos para enfocarnos en lo sagrado, en la esencia de quienes somos, protegida de cualquier tormenta o desastre. Mientras buscamos recursos para solucionar las necesidades inmediatas, busquemos también maneras de ayudar a los nuestros y a nuestras comunidades a restaurar la esperanza, el amor y las semillas de una nueva vida.
May these words provide you peace, but also motivate you. May these times that we are living in not cause you distress, but allow you to rise to the occasion and be the person you want to be.