Imagination and Collective Liberation

In our quest for truth we often stick to fact-based reality over emotionally driven idealism, but in our shared human experience we witness the power of the imagined.What is the role of radical imagination in collective liberation? How can we intentionally create the future for which we long and dream?

John Biewen The Long View, I: On Being White

Or Check out the Book – The Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity By Max Haiven and Alex Khasnabish of the Radical Imagination Project
“The idea of the imagination is as evocative as it is elusive. Not only does the imagination allow us to project ourselves beyond our own immediate space and time, it also allows us to envision the future, as individuals and as collectives. The radical imagination, then, is that spark of difference, desire and discontent that can be fanned into the flames of social change. Yet what precisely is the imagination and what might make it ‘radical’? How can it be fostered and cultivated? How can it be studied and what are the possibilities and risks of doing so?

This book seeks to answer these questions at a crucial time. As we enter into a new cycle of struggles marked by a worldwide crisis of social reproduction, scholar-activists Max Haiven and Alex Khasnabish explore the processes and possibilities for cultivating the radical imagination in dark times.

A lively and crucial intervention in radical politics, social research and social change, and the collective visions and cultures that inspire them.”

Collective Imagination and Liberation

“We are in an imagination battle. Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown and Renisha McBride and so many others are dead because, in some white imagination, they were dangerous. And that imagination is so respected that those who kill, based on an imagined, radicalized fear of Black people, are rarely held accountable.

Imagination has people thinking they can go from being poor to a millionaire as part of a shared American dream. Imagination turns Brown bombers into terrorists and white bombers into mentally ill victims. Imagination gives us borders, gives us superiority, gives us race as an indicator of ability. I often feel I am trapped inside someone else’s capability. I often feel I am trapped inside someone’ else’s imagination, and I must engage my own imagination in order to break free.” – adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy

What happens to a dream deferred? Or all together denied? What happens when an entire nation, already reeling from a pandemic, witnesses a murder before “its” very eyes? Does poetry have anything to say in such a situation? Might a piece of art console us? Might a poem begin to tell a story that we are finally ready to hear? Might that new story heal us? Might new dreams arise?

there is an edge (ode to radical imagination) by adrienne maree brown

There is an edge
Beyond which we cannot grasp the scale
Of our universe.
That border,
That outer boundary
Is imagination.
The only known edge of existence
The only one we can prove by universal experience –

We can imagine so much!
We can only imagine so much.

If perhaps it is a function of our collective minds
A dream of our endless nights
Then there will be abundance so long as we can imagine it –
Abundance on earth
If we can imagine it
Or abundance of earths
A sphere for every tribe
And every combination.
And to have it all
All we need is to remember
there is an edge
And grow our dreams beyond it.

– inspired by #ArtChangeUS

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Welcome:

Good morning and welcome to West Fork Unitarian Universalists. I’m Cricket and I feel blessed to serve this congregation as a lay leader. I’m glad to see all of you here today.

Thank you for joining us.

Let us use the prelude for centering. We are about to enter sacred time. We are about to make this time and this place sacred by our presence and intention.

Please silence your phones… and as you do so, I invite us also to turn down the volume on our fears; to remove our masks; and to loosen the armor around our hearts.

Breathe.

Let go of the expectations placed on you by others—and those they taught you to place on yourself.

Drop the guilt and the shame, not to shirk accountability, but in honest expectation of the possibility of forgiveness.

Let go of the thing you said the other day. Let go of the thing you dread next week. Be here, in this moment. Breathe, here.

Prelude: 

Opening Words:  Surrender to This Life by Gretchen Haley

Chalice Lighting: April 2020 – Global Chalice Lighting

Welcome Song: Come, Come Whoever you are

Principles: There are Seven Principles which Unitarian Universalist Congregations affirm and promote

Continue reading

On laughter and liberation

“Humor obliges us to have an open mind. It obliges us to empathy and forgiveness. If you lose the power to laugh you lose the power to think. Sometimes only humor can break down entrenched positions and rigid ideology… If we can laugh together, we can live together…”

Liberation Meditations: Your Liberation Is on the Line

The truth is, however, that the oppressed are not “marginals,” are not people living “outside” society. They have always been “inside”—inside the structure which made them “beings for others.” The solution is not to “integrate” them into the structure of oppression, but to transform that structure so that they can become “beings for themselves.”  – Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Your Liberation Is on the Line by Rev. angel Kyodo williams

UU Lent 2020 – Day 31 – Support

“A child who has overcome challenges with proper emotional support will emerge stronger.” – Kate Middleton

“Strong people don’t put others down… They lift them up.” – Michael P. Watson

“I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.” – Amy Poehler

Spectrum of Language by Alex Kapitan

Time to Tune in by Brittany Packnett

Supporting the People who Need Us by Mandy Neff

Sunday, March 24, 2019

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography

This Sunday we will be listening to a sermon from the Rev. Chris Jimmerson which was given at the First UU Church of Austin on January 27, 2019.  Join us as we learn more about “Collective Liberation”.

“It’s the individual effort of everybody working together towards a collective goal that causes real, effective change in America and in the world.” – David Hogg

We would love to have you come worship with us.

 

Our services are Sundays at 11 a.m.  at the Progressive Women’s Association Event Center, 305 Washington Ave. in downtown Clarksburg, behind the Courthouse. There are classes for children and adults 10 to 10:45 am, and a coffee gathering before the service. More about us.

During the 10 o’clock hour we will be discussing “Faithful Stubbornness” and the Response in Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry as part of our Life Long Learning.

Classes and worship are replaced by Spiritual Outings on the first Sunday of each month during the summer, with brief worship, a potluck picnic, and outdoor activities. The schedule is in the sidebar.

Children are welcome.  There is childcare and an activity for young children during the service.

The building is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom.

Map

The schedule for the current adult religious education class is here.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information

or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

 

Photo Credit: It is the cover of Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy by Chris Crass

UU Lent 2018

In Christian churches there is a 40 day period beginning Ash Wednesday and leading to Easter, that is full of meditation, prayer, and sacrifice. This is act of devotion and a spiritual practice.

While this is not a practice that all UUs participate in, it is something from our history and something that we may wish to participate in. The question might come up, “is there a Unitarian Universalist way to practice Lent?” The answer is yes. A calendar has been created by Mr. Barb Greve and Alex Kapitan. The idea is to focus on a particular word each day during lent and on the Sundays we are to reflect on the word and encourage each other to enact it in our lives. Should you choose to participate you can share your reflections with the hashtag #UULent

Here is the calendar for reference.


We aim to have a devotional about the daily word each day.

May your day be filled with light and the coming weeks be filled with introspection and healing. May we all use this time to nurture other spirits as well as our own, so that we are strong enough to help heal the world. May we use this time to connect with each other as we work towards beloved community and collective liberation. Blessed Be. Amen.

Namaste,

Cricket