First, we want to THANK YOU for participating in both the congregational survey and our Cottage Meeting services! On Sunday, November 18, the MSC will be your service leaders for a special service where you will hear about the results of our congregational survey and group discussions. What ideas and beliefs of others may surprise you? Our former choir director had a tag line on her mails: “When I am singing lyrics that don’t ring true for my own personal beliefs, I take joy in knowing they may for the person standing next to me.” As a non-creedal community, we hold different beliefs and perspectives. But to be a UU is to have a willing heart—to be kindly curious, to be open to being changed by each other, and to deeply care that we tend to each other’s needs. We do have differences, but we have common principles and we will hear about what we consider to be our common goals and vision for UUCP with our new minister.
As UUs, we are committed to justice, diversity, and to facing our biases with honesty and the determination to be fair. In a reflection on bias, UU Minister Rev. Matthew Johnson writes:
We’re the faith of reason and science and dignity. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that too many of us have been taught by culture that what “smart” looks like is white, male, and middle class. We’ve been taught that credibility and authority are white. We’ve been taught that what science looks like is a white man in a white shirt and a buzzcut, not Katherine Johnson or Dorothy Vaughn — the NASA scientists without whom John Glenn would not have lifted off, let alone returned to Earth safely. We need to unhook our assumptions of what smart looks like, of what “quality music” sounds like, of what “reason” means. We need to get messy. We need to question our assumptions about who makes a good fit, and why we think people are puzzles pieces that have to slide into the existing system.
Let’s be willing to “get messy,” knowing that we are a beloved community which is up to the task! Beyond Categorical Thinking (“BCT”) is a weekend program designed to promote inclusive thinking and help participants come to terms with their own, often involuntary “categorical thinking.” The program is conducted by trained leaders who have examined their own fears and prejudices, and have learned effective methods to address these fears in themselves and in our UU congregations. Please plan on attending the workshop Saturday, December 1, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm to engage in this vital process. (More in-depth information on page 10.) Rev. Keith Kron, UUA Transitions Director, will lead both services on Sunday, December 2, to share valuable insights. Mark your calendars!