February 1, 2017
Dear Members and Friends,
This month, we explore what it means to be a Community of IDENTITY. It matters in this era, perhaps more than in the past, that we as faith progressives and Unitarian Universalists know who we are, what we stand for, and how to gather in ways that nourish, encourage, and challenge one another to deepen in understanding, compassion, and connection.
This past week's sermon was about being a community of prophecy, and truly, a part of our identity is living into our call to be a prophetic community. If you missed it, I encourage you to go to unitytemple.libsyn.com.
Here are some readings to reflect on.
Rev. Alan Taylor
Here are some readings to reflect on:
The word courage comes from the Latin cor, which means heart. According to poet Mark Nepo, the original use of the word courage meant to stand by one's core: a "striking concept that reinforces the belief found in almost all traditions that living from the Center [of our identity] is what enables us to face whatever life has to offer."
To "encourage" means to hearten; to impart strength and confidence. This is our work, as a religious community: to encourage one another; to be bold in engaging the world around us, as well as what scares us internally; to give one another the confidence and heart to live as fully as possible.
- Erika Hewitt
None of our private worlds is big enough for us to live a wholesome life in. we need the wider world of joy and wonder, of purpose and venture, of toil and tears. What are we, any of us, but strangers and sojourner forlornly wandering though the nighttime until we draw together and find the meaning of our lives in one another, dissolving our fears in each other's courage, making music together and lighting torches to guide us through the dark? We belong together. Love is what we need. To love and to be loved. Let our hearts be open; and what we would receive from others, let us give. For what is given still remains to bless the giver-when the gift is love.
- A. Powell Davies
I began to ask each time: "What's the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?" Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, "disappeared" or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.
Next time, ask: What's the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it's personal. And the world won't end.
And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.
- Audre Lorde