|Our Soul Matters theme for the month of November is healing, so as a congregation, we ask ourselves this month how we can do our part to heal and mend the places in our world where the interconnected web is torn. Our faith calls us especially today to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person, because we live in a society where all lives do not yet matter equally in practice.
So it is because of this gap between our stated values and the reality of our world, that we are called to do our part to mend the brokenness in our interconnected web.
Earlier this summer, our country experienced a mass awakening to the issues of systemic violence against black bodies, and in response members of the Racial Justice and Healing team at UUCL began holding public witness demonstrations to remind our neighbors in Lancaster of the ongoing need to speak up and show up for black lives. We also placed posters on our doors to serve as a witness to the many black and brown lives lost to systemic violence.
And since we placed those posters on our doors, we have seen two men of color undergoing mental health crises loose their lives to police violence in PA, one in Lancaster, the other in Philadelphia. It is clear that there is much ongoing work and reckoning still needed both locally and nationally.
The simple fact is that all lives will not matter in practice in our community and country until black lives matter to everyone and every aspect of our society. So it is our task as Unitarian Universalists to serve as both a bold voice for justice and inclusion as well as a beloved community in the making. This means we must work as a community to identify and address the ways that structural racism lives amongst us, and we must root it out. This will require a commitment to ongoing actions like our public witness events, and it also requires a willingness to engage in learning and difficult discussions. Furthermore, it requires being willing to use our voice in our community to provide bold statements that can serve as a reminder of the the world, not as it is, but as our faith tells us it could be.
For all of these reasons and more, we will be showing our commitments to this ongoing work of racial justice, by displaying a banner above the entrance to our church that declares that Black Lives Matter. This banner is not the totality of the deep work that we must engage in as a congregation to make the statement reality. It is however a powerful reminder to ourselves and to our community of the ongoing need for the work of racial justice and healing.
The Black Lives Matter Banner will be raised this week on Friday morning at 10:00AM, and we welcome you to join us live via the UUCL Facebook page for a brief dedication to this ongoing work.
Rev. Israel & The UUCL Board of Trustees