Read the full issue of this week’s Liberal here.
Rev. Justin Schroeder writes:
Christmas, and the holiday season, is complicated, and not just because of family dynamics and memories of loved ones no longer with us. This season is complicated because the original story is complicated. Mary, Joseph, and their newborn child live in a world turned upside down, where the Roman Empire is exerting its might over the poor and powerless, executing dissidents, and expanding its reach. In this sense, the Christmas story – the birth of hope amidst despair – is always with us, and perhaps more so, right now.
It hasn’t been easy going, but one of the gifts of this post election time is that many of us have dropped the trivial and non-essentials from our conversations, and we have dropped into the depth dimension immediately, reflecting on how we can “stay woke,” show up, and engage across difference in these turbulent times. Another gift has been the awareness that our faith is holding and instructing us in profound ways. Our faith calls us to welcome, affirm, and protect the light in each human heart, to listen to where love is calling us, and to work for justice, with humility and compassion. These are not “nice things to do,” but central mandates of our Unitarian Universalist faith. Our faith also calls us to provide sanctuary and to resist – with words, action, and our very bodies – the forces that threaten and diminish life. This is not a drill. Members of First Universalist are exploring what it means for us to become a “Sanctuary Church,” housing families or individuals threatened with deportation. We continue to work with SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) and offer them space in our building. We continue to deepen our relationships with our seven Faithful Action Partners, and are planning to partner with other faith communities and joining millions of others for the Women’s March on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. And amidst of this, we continue the spiritual work of deep listening, of mindfulness, of prayer – so that we can stay centered and grounded.
It is a true gift to serve this faith community, and to give, receive, and grow with all of you.