Dear Ones,

On Sunday February 19, we had a question service. The people who attended our service that day submitted questions and I answered them during the time usually set aside for the sermon. I did not get a chance to answer all of your wonderful questions. I’m using this space to answer a few more:

  • How can we find peace in these troubled times?
  • How do we overcome anger/anxiety related to all the fear in the world?
  • What lessons can we draw from Unitarian or Universalists to light our path through Trumpism?
  • How can I bear having Trump referred to as president?

About a third of the questions I received were about our current political reality and how we live our faith now. I’m struggling to answer this question too. What I have found to work so far is to remember the stories of social movements in the past—the anti-slavery movement, the civil rights movement, the movement for gay liberation—and know that they felt despair too. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” our ancestors remind us. Some days, I am better at believing that than others. I do what I can and remember that this is a relay, not a sprint. If I can’t make it to a rally or call a certain elected official, I know that I am on a team with millions of others and I am not the one to always carry the baton. I take time to care for myself, attend to spiritual practice, and find joy knowing that I need to do this to sustain myself for the years ahead.

Receiving so many questions on this theme makes me realize that we at People’s Church should be having more opportunities for conversation and support about how we live our values now. Rev. Jill, our minister emerita, and I will host a workshop about this on Saturday, March 25. There, we can talk about what sort of ongoing support might be needed in our community.

What is the structure of the UU Church?
Unitarian Universalists practice congregational polity, which means that the congregation is the highest authority. You, at congregational meetings, call your minister and elect your board who attend to the programs and governance of the congregation, respectively. There is no bishop or pope or regional leader who tells us what to do here.

That said, we do partner with other congregations to do things we can’t do alone, like write religious education curricula, do state-wide or national advocacy, and make sure ministers are properly trained. Most of this work is coordinated through the Unitarian Universalist Association, based in Boston. There is also a regional body—the MidAmerica Region, which stretches from Kentucky to North Dakota. The MidAmerica regional assembly is happening April 28-30 near Chicago. I hope you consider attending. It is a powerful experience to connect with other Unitarian Universalists to learn and worship together.

See you in church,

Rachel

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