10 Lyons Plains Road Westport, CT 06880 - Phone: 203.227.7205 - uuwestport.org
My Beloveds,

Please join us tonight at 8:00 pm for the UUA #WeCan'tBreathe Virtual Vigil (see below-and previous email). It is important that we support one another and have sacred places to lament and be angry together. You are not alone!

In the ongoing aftermath of the recent deaths of our black siblings at the hands and knees of law enforcement, many are outraged, many are protesting, and many, for whom this is yet the latest example of a centuries-long pattern, are once again asking: When is enough, enough? What does it take to make lasting change in the systems and structures that perpetuate the racism and racial violence? As expected, when UU's are confronted with such horrible injustice, we want to do something about it. We can and we are. This is a time when we can fully appreciate that "within among and beyond" are all mixed up together in our faith journeys. Take some time and review the information and links I have gathered here. Feel free to reach out if you need to talk, and please take good care of yourselves. We are here for you if you need us.

With much Love,
Rev. Shelly

RIGHT NOW and in the days and weeks to come...
There are many ways to participate in the response: protest, advocacy, activism, and action to make our voices heard in the public arena. Stay in touch with David Vita, with our Facebook page, church emails, and Soundings to hear the latest on local and congregational responses, like tonight's UUA vigil. As well see the links below for more information and some suggestions about how you can get involved.

BE THE CHANGE
My dear ones, the sad truth is that our liberal religious traditions, Unitarianism, Universalism, and Unitarian Universalism, have a very spotty and often disastrous history with race relations within our own faith communities. If this history is unknown to you, I strongly encourage you to learn about our past and the very recent present events that have catalyzed a renewed UUA-wide commitment to challenging the White Supremacy Culture that permeates our faith tradition. This is the impetus behind our proposed 8th Principle. I have shared with you a letter from my friend, Anita Lee, advocating for the adopting of this principle by each congregation as the UUA as a whole continues to examine the question of adopting it.

Here, at TUCW, many of our teams and leaders are beginning to examine our own systems policies, and practices, looking for ways to better align our intentions for justice equity and compassion with our impact in our relationships and the ways that we welcome engage and include all people across differences. The Gender Equity Team, the Intercultural Competency Team, The Eliminating Racism Team have all been working on the transformations needed within ourselves and among our congregation to live into our principles and values more fully. I believe that this work is a core component of the covenant process that we share as the center of our faith.

Next Sat, June 6th, 9:00 am-12:00 pm you are welcome to join me for a conversation about covenanting in a workshop that will explore how we can (and must) change the ways that we choose to relate to one another in order to transform ourselves and our congregation into a more compassionate and justice-and-equity-building community. See Soundings for details or email me. Rev Shelly

SCROLL FOR INFORMATION & RESOURCES

Learn More About African American
Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist History

The Black Hole in the White UU Psyche

Books by Mark Morrison Reed

Centering
Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry


Who Needs an 8th Principle? WE DO!! by Anita L. Lee
[Member of First UU Richmond,
co-creator of Living the Richmond Pledge to End Racism]

At the 1992 General Assembly delegates voted adopted a Resolution of Immediate Witness which, in part, affirmed the “vision of a racially diverse and multicultural Unitarian Universalism.” Five years later, the 1997 General Assembly adopted a Business Resolution entitled, “Toward an Anti-Racist Unitarian Universalist Association,” that committed the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to intentionally becoming a multicultural and anti-racist institution. Twenty years later in 2017, the UUA began to pull itself out of another shameful display of White Supremacy.

Our denomination claims to be building “a new way,” and it’s about time! But, that new way cannot be built on the white centered framework of the past. We need an explicitly anti-racist Eighth Principle that will keep our aspirations in our awareness. We need to demonstrate a level of commitment to anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multiculturalism that will move us forward as a denomination, as congregations, and as Unitarian Universalists.

The proposed 8th Principle was written by Bruce Pollack-Johnson and Paula Cole Jones.1 It states:

“We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”

The language of this Principle is more explicit than our other principles in describing how we achieve the goal of building diverse communities. When it comes to dismantling racism in America, in our denomination, in our churches, and in ourselves, we must be specific and accountable for our actions, and our inaction. As of December 11, 2017, 3 congregations have adopted the 8th Principle, the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu in Hawaii, the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration in Philadelphia, and All Souls Church Unitarian in Washington, DC.

We, as a congregation, should support the 8th Principle and adopt it for our congregation!
_____
1. Bruce Pollack-Johnson is a longtime member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration in Philadelphia, PA and Allies for Racial Equality (ARE). Pollack — Johnson is also a longtime member and leader in Racial & Social Justice.

Paula Cole Jones is a senior management consultant and former Racial & Social Justice Director for the Joseph Priestley District (now Central East Region.) She is the founder of ADORE (A Dialogue on Race & Ethnicity) and a former president of DRUUMM (Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries.) Jones is the author of “Encounters: Poems About Race, Ethnicity and Identity,” published by Skinner House Books.


UUA Virtual Vigil TONIGHT 8:00 pm
RSVP at the link below
To join the TUCW group to be up-to-date on all things UU the Vote at TUCW, subscribe by clicking: TUCWUUtheVote+subscribe@groups.io.

For more information, contact Janet Luongo or Sudha Sankar. Meetings are Wed 7-8PM.
MOVEMENT FOR BLACK LIVES WEEK OF ACTION 

M4BL WEEK OF ACTION
As we mentioned, some actions carry more risk than others, and especially during a pandemic. We encourage you to take all safety precautions and to listen to best practices from your local public health officials. Each day for the week of action represents one of our demands. We offer some ideas for you, your family, and friends to take action in your community and resources to learn how. Given the public health crisis, each idea is segmented by level of risk. Green is low risk, Yellow is medium risk, and Red i s high risk. We trust you will make the best decisions for yourself and your community.
Barack Obama shares his advice for making change
through community organizing.

ANGUISH AND ACTION

We work to help leaders change their world—and the world needs changing. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the loss of far too many Black lives to list, have left our nation anguished and outraged. While now is a time for grief and anger, it is also a time for resolve. Find resources below to learn what you can do to create a more just and equitable world.

How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change  
The Unitarian Church in Westport is a diverse and welcoming religious community, free of creed and dogma, and open to people of all backgrounds and beliefs. 
  WE INSPIRE  and support individual spiritual growth. 
 WE CONNECT  through worship, music, learning, and caring ministries. 
  WE ACT  in the service of peace and justice.