A Statement from our Ministers:
We are shocked – again – by the unprovoked killing of yet another African American man, most recently in Minneapolis, MN. Our hearts are broken for his family and his community. And we know many of us do not have the luxury of begin shocked by an event like this one. What some might see as series of isolated incidents or a system broken and in need of fixing is experienced as the reality of daily life by our neighbors and kin of color. We live in a world where people of color, immigrants, the poor, and the marginalized are stigmatized, criminalized, and feared. Where the systems of justice and finance are designed to serve the few at the cost of the lives and livelihoods of the many. Where we are taught to value white lives and bodies over the lives and bodies of people of color. This is not acceptable.
Our shock and our tears and our anger are real – and they are not enough. How can we respond?
We begin by educating our selves, by helping each other to wake up to see the truth of our situation, by building the strength and resilience we need to stay woke and aware, by speaking the truth to our neighbors and those in power again and again and again, by demanding change in ourselves and the systems we inhabit, by listening to people of color who share with us their experience and their needs, and by showing up in spirit and in body to resist oppression and silence.
This is not easy or comfortable work – it is not an easy or comfortable way of life – but our Unitarian Universalist tradition and principles call us to affirm and work for the dignity and worth of each person and to recognize that we are all deeply interconnected. The mission of this congregation to “act on our values to help heal the world” asks us to not be silent in the face of fear and violence but to speak and act for safety and justice for our kin of color.
In love and hope,
Rev. Ian W. Riddell and Rev. Kathleen Owens
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