I’m writing this column on October 24 — my father would have celebrated his 91st birthday today! Last year my sisters and I were with him to celebrate his decade-turning transition, and his “settling in” to a lovely senior living community.
As I write, the mid-term elections draw near. My father believed in democracy and he voted in every election. I will confess that I have missed voting a few times over the years… I’m not sure there’s a greater sin for a Unitarian Universalist! But I won’t miss voting this time, and I pray you won’t either.
I pray that we will take our votes seriously because so much is at stake. Human rights, civil rights, and the lives of people we know and love are threatened. Our good planet Earth is threatened by climate collapse. Democracy itself is threatened. I am deeply grateful to those of you who have given your time and energy and money to get out the vote and for your work on the election campaigns of candidates whose values reflect our Unitarian Universalist commitments to freedom, justice, compassion, human dignity, earth-care, and the democratic process. You are inspiring!
As I write, we don’t know the outcome of the elections. It’s a challenge to stay steady and to keep moving forward in the face of uncertainty. The fact that power continues to build and consolidate in the hands of those who currently control the federal administration troubles us: there is no longer any sense of fairness in politics. Ever since the 2016 presidential election, many of us have worried that lost ground will never be regained.
In the midst of our troubled times, I continue to find our UUCW community is a beacon of hope. We are not perfect, and we don’t have all the answers, but I am inspired by how much you care — how much you care for one another, for our church community, for our schools, cities, towns, state, and nation. I am inspired by how much you care for our world community, and for the earth. Each Sunday, we gather to proclaim that there is a better way, a kinder way — a way that is more compassionate and just. We gather to remember that we can recommit our lives to justice, to the earth, to being in solidarity with marginalized communities. That even in the face of hatred and division, we can speak out for love.
No matter what happens on November 6, we will need to keep giving ourselves to the holy work of showing up, again and again. We will need to keep building the world we dream about, even if we are tired, broken-hearted, anxious or grieving. We will need to keep taking care of ourselves and our neighbors. And UUCW will be here for us: a community of memory and hope, learning and joy, mystery and meaning.
May we all head to the polls and to the streets with energy and strength!
The Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister