Rev. Michael J. Crumpler reflects on his presence at Dr. Christine Ford’s testimony and how we all are witnessing a monster, but through affirming the worth and dignity of victims, we diminish the power of monsters and create survivors. Through truth survivors can be set free.
For each day of Chalica we will offer activities, some are fun and some are more reflecting, a chalice lighting, and a meditation. Gather everyone together, light the chalice, and breathe into the principles with us each day.
- Write a Letter to an elected official about an injustice
- Pay for the person behind you in the drive-through line
- “Want me to pick something up for you?” If you know someone is overwhelmed – perhaps by a new baby, family health issues, or something else – give them a call when you’re going out to the store. Ask if they’d like you to pick something up. We’ve been the beneficiaries of this random act of kindness, and it’s great.
- Try to go the whole day without arguing with anyone
- Go out to eat and tip the server double
- Go to the store or mall with the family and stand outside and open the doors for people
- Find a social justice cause and/or a new way to support it.
- Educate yourself and your family on a social justice issue. These Youtube channels are a great way to start.
- Write a journal entry about what Justice, Equity, and Compassion mean to you.
- Write a poem about being kind.
Chalice Lighting: (If you don’t have a chalice at home, remember that the point of a chalice is that it is a symbol so any candle will work.)
Justice, Meaning, and Purpose By David Breeden
We light this chalice
remembering and honoring our own tradition
and celebrating the rich diversity of traditions among us.
As we search for justice, meaning, and purpose,
may we remember that justice, meaning, and purpose
live first in deeply listening to one another.
This chalice lighting was written for a multifaith gathering.
Our Meditation today is about Love. Focusing on love helps us to remember that each person is important.
Here is a musical meditation as well. This is “Do What the Spirit Say Do” as performed by Sweet Honey in the Rock.
“Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations points us toward something beyond inherent worth and dignity. It points us to the larger community. It gets at collective responsibility. It reminds us that treating people as human beings is not simply something we do one-on-one, but something that has systemic implications and can inform our entire cultural way of being.
“Compassion is something that we can easily act on individually. We can demonstrate openness, give people respect, and treat people with kindness on our own. But we need one another to achieve equity and justice.
“Justice, equity, and compassion are all part of the same package. Just as the second Principle overlaps with the first, so it is related to the seventh Principle—the interdependent web of all existence.”
—Rev. Emily Gage, Unity Temple, Chicago, IL (read more from Emily in The Seven Principles in Word and Worship, ed. Ellen Brandenburg)
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.
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.
The schedule for the current adult religious education class is here.
or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302
“Kid president believes the things we say can make the world more awesome. Here he shares a list of 20 things we should say more often. What would you add to it?”
Another story honoring Mister Rogers.
Several friends have shared this photo of Mister Rogers and Officer Clemmons cooling their feet together in a pool, and I wanted to learn more about it, especially on this day, the first day of Spring, which also happens to be Fred Rogers’ birthday.
Several months after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, when riots were erupting in black neighborhoods across the nation, Fred Rogers approached Francois Clemmons after hearing him sing in a church. He asked him to join him on his show, to be a police officer, which was a radical idea at that time – a black police officer keeping families safe in the Neighborhood.
Clemmons would remember:
“I grew up in the ghetto. I did not have a positive opinion of police officers. Policemen were siccing police dogs and water hoses on people. And I really had a hard time putting myself in that role. So I was not excited about being Officer Clemmons at all.”
But, he trusted Fred Rogers, and in August 1968, Francois Clemmons debuted as Officer Clemmons on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (MRN). He would become the first African-American to have a recurring role on a kids TV series, and he would continue to have that role for the next 25 years.
Which brings us to the famous scene. It was 1969, shortly after the first anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King, when Mister Rogers on a hot day invited Officer Clemmons to join him in soaking his feet in a wading pool.
Clemmons remembers: “He invited me to come over and to rest my feet in the water with him.” He continued, with emotion, “The icon Fred Rogers not only was showing my brown skin in the tub with his white skin as two friends, but as I was getting out of that tub, he was helping me dry my feet.”
Many people saw this as a symbolic message from Mister Rogers, a radical idea at the same time when the news also featured a white man throwing acid into a “whites only” motel pool to rid the pool of black swimmers.
But, it wasn’t anything new for Mister Rogers. When the show went national in 1979, when a white backlash against the civil rights movement was occurring, Mister Rogers received a visit at home from Mrs. Saunders, an African American teacher, and a small interracial group of her students, showing that at least in this Neighborhood, white and black neighbors can live peacefully together.
In 1975, Mister Rogers would also introduce Mayor Maggie, a character played by African American actor Maggie Stewart, who would become King Friday’s political equal and even had the assistance of a white underling, Associate Mayor Aber (played by the blond and blue-eyed Chuck Aber).
Years later, in 1993, Officer Clemmons would make his last appearance on MRN, and, in a touching moment, Mister Rogers would again invite Officer Clemmons, again joining Rogers at a wading pool in the front yard. This time, two grown men, one white, one black, as they soaked their feet together, discussed and sang a song about the different ways people say “I love you.”
Clemmons would remember that the scene touched him in a way he hadn’t expected.
As they said their goodbyes, with Mister Rogers thanking Officer Clemmons for joining him, Officer Clemmons would emotionally respond, thanking Mister Rogers and saying:
“I like being a human being right here and now.”
“The call for sanctuary for Sulma Franco came to First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, where I’m senior minister, because we have the reputation of being welcoming to LGBT folks, and because the Rev. Marisol Caballero, minister of religious education and congregational engagement, had been doing antiracism work within the congregation and beyond. Word had gotten out in the immigrant community.
Could we help?”
Courage leads to change in this world.
This congregation lived out the first and second principles.