Widening the Circle of Concern
“The work of becoming more equitable, inclusive, and diverse within our congregations is justice work. If we cannot do this well, we cannot be effective as justice partners.
A frequent criticism of anti-oppression and hospitality work is that people are tired of us focusing internally, “navel-gazing,” rather than working on issues in the world. Yet greater awareness of the practices within our own institutions is complementary work to our justice. We cannot do accountable justice work if we are not able to remain in good relationship with those most affected by the conditions of injustice.”
“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray’s facebook post
In the Spring of 2017, our association went through a significant institutional rupture that was also intensely personal for many at the heart of those events. Since then, the UUA has recommitted itself to the work of institutional change, to living into the aspirations of our beloved faith community that is anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural and deeply inclusive. At the same time, as a religious community there was also personal repair work that needed to happen, including with the institution of the UUA.
Acknowledging this, a number of people impacted by the events of the Spring of 2017 gathered recently to engage in a restorative conversation. This process was not about expecting agreement nor getting to full resolution, or healing all that was broken. Rather, this was about making space to gather as people – people within a shared faith – to honor and recognize one another’s humanity with all of our feelings and experiences, and to own our own roles as well as our pain.
Together, with our facilitators, we created a statement to describe our gathering, its purpose and character, which I invite you to read. I shared this as part of my recent report to the UUA Board of Trustees and have permission from those who gathered to share it widely with our larger Unitarian Universalist community. I invite you to approach this statement with curiosity and care, and to let the possibility for restorative practices open your heart.
Here is the repair statement