As Unitarian Universalists we must speak and act to stop the frequent, state-sanctioned violence committed against members of our shared community. The murders of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Tony McDade in Florida, and George Floyd in Minnesota, among so many others, were all committed by police or former police. Here in San Diego, we also see police brutality such as that perpetrated against an individual walking her dog on the beach as well as in La Mesa when a police officer had an altercation with a black man at a trolley station. This is not about a few rogue officers. This isn’t about the need for more training. This isn’t even about a change in leadership. Replacing one police chief with another is not enough if the pervasive racist system that empowers them is unchanged. The work of transforming our law enforcement and justice system into a true JUSTICE system will be long and difficult, messy and painful. We commit to that work, in solidarity with our partners. Violence against Black and Brown bodies, committed by officers of the law, demands this system must be remade.
The COVID-19 virus has further highlighted and worsened this country’s systemic inequities. The pandemic has struck Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities at much higher rates than non-Black, non-Indigenous, non-People of Color communities. This is yet another injustice heaped on the great mountain of injustice we as a country have created and allowed to fester - all compounded by the policing of Black and Brown lives to the point of death. All this creates the rage being expressed in the protests.
As people of faith who affirm and promote the interdependence of all life and the inherent dignity and worth of each person, we are called by Love to act.
It starts wherever we are…in ourselves, in our neighborhoods, in our congregations, throughout the San Diego region. It starts now. It starts with US.
From the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, Social Justice Executive Team in collaboration with our Journey Towards Wholeness team.
By Martin Kruming
On a warm, sunny day in March, San Diegans went to the polls. After showing identification, they received their ballots, stepped into voting booths, made their choices, handed the ballots to poll workers, and hurried off to work, home, or elsewhere. Thousands of miles away, citizens of Azerbaijan, a former Soviet Republic surrounded by Russia, Iran and Turkey, showed up at polling stations on a cold, blustery day in February to choose members of the Azerbaijan Parliament. They showed IDs, took a ballot which they marked, returned it to the election officials, and stuck around to socialize with fellow voters. Two places-16 hours apart by plane-each trying to make democracy work during a very unsettling and confusing period in history.
By Tony Brumfield
I want to begin my reflection on resilience by talking about the tree outside our window. That tree needs certain things to withstand difficult times. For one, it needs to be firmly rooted. The Earth not only holds it in place but provides nutrients. The tree needs water. When a tree doesn't get enough water, or the quality of its water is poor, the tree becomes vulnerable to disease. Trees also need air. Trees breathe. Trees need sunlight. Sunlight, water, and air are needed for trees to generate food. The temperature of the air can neither be too hot nor too cold. But trees need more than physical things. Trees thrive best in a forest. I must say that we human beings need the trees in our lives. Not just the trees but all the other living things in our world. And they need us. The resilience of this world very much relies on us human beings being responsible, not just for us, but for all of life.
By Rev. Tanía Márquez, Assistant Minister
When I was 14 years old, while visiting my family's town in Southern Mexico, a group of friends invited me to climb to the church's bell tower from where we could see the procession of people coming into the town to celebrate its annual festival. To get to the bell tower, we had to go through a dark and narrow spiral staircase. While looking forward to the view from the town's highest building, the time we spent in the staircase seemed endless. I was afraid, mostly because it was hard to see beyond the step I was about to take, and it was the voices of the people I couldn't see, but who were there with me, that encouraged me to keep going.
By Maureen McNair
In June of 2019, four or five congregants attending the annual meeting in the Meeting House wrote down that their vision for the future of First UU included a food pantry or a soup kitchen. At the time, the primary concerns on the minds of most people at that meeting were things such as how we would respond to the offer from UCSD Medical Center to purchase our Hillcrest campus; whether we would expand our music, dance, and art programs; and, requests that we find more ways to enjoy meals together. I didn't believe those few requests to start a food pantry would make it into the top five goals of the new strategic plan the congregation was providing input for. But, those requests reflected such an acute and immediate need that, as a newly elected member of the Board of Trustees, I thought we should do something about them.
By Kathleen Swift, Family and Lifespan Ministry Director
Like most of us, your fears and anxieties over the coronavirus COVID-19 are probably elevated right now. Although the risk for children and young adults appears to be less than for older adults, news of this pandemic is changing daily and is alarming. Many parents are wondering how to talk about it with their children in away that is reassuring, but factual. According to experts at the Child Mind Institute, it's better to talk about it than avoid the subject. Your children have probably already seen people wearing masks and have heard stories from their friends. Not talking about it can make kids worry more.
On Saturday, May 2nd, 2020 we enjoyed a very moving and beautiful online ordination for Reverend Everett Howe. Press the play button to watch the recorded live stream go to our Facebook or YouTube pages to watch and see comments (and add your own). Go to our Facebook page | Go to our YouTube Channel | Download the Ordination Order of Service | Traducción al español .
Len and I spent six weeks trying to escape winter weather, on the Sea of Cortez, near Guaymas, Sonora, where it was a bit warmer than here on the Pacific Ocean. We rented a beautiful hacienda style house, steps from the shore. We settled in and adopted a daily routine: sleeping until the sun woke us, Len feeding and walking the dog while I cooked breakfast, enjoying the sun's warmth while eating breakfast on the patio, watching the fishermen, a diver, brown pelicans, seagulls and an occasional bottlenose dolphin begin their daily routine right in front of us. Getting acquainted with a new kitchen is always a bit challenging, but, after a few days, I could fix breakfast without too much difficulty. Until one morning when I lost the can of Pam Cooking Spray.
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