Dear All Souls, Like many of you, I have been following with care and concern recent developments within our larger faith community. In the last two weeks, we have learned that Unitarian Universalist Association hiring practices do not yet reflect our faith's commitment to building a multiracial, multicultural, and anti-racist community and society. During this controversy, Rev. Peter Morales resigned as President of the UUA.
We know that structural racism remains a reality in our country--even among its most progressive institutions. Yet when such racism expresses itself in our own religious community it is particularly disheartening, hurtful, and destructive, especially for people of color. I want to let people of color at All Souls know that I am personally available to them for pastoral care and support during this difficult time.
The UUA still has a long way to go before its culture fully reflects our shared values, and so do all of our Unitarian Universalist institutions, including All Souls Church. That's why we have been and will continue to work to dismantle racism within our congregation and beyond its walls, through training, spiritual deepening, skill-building, examining internal church culture, and working to change the culture at large. As a flagship church in our movement, we must hold both ourselves and our larger faith community accountable for this work.
The challenge and joy of building a truly multiracial, multicultural, and anti-racist culture is a long-term commitment for our church and our movement, and we all have a role to play. We are offering several opportunities for you to participate in this important work in the weeks ahead:
- On April 15 Rev. Rob Keithan co-leads a workshop called "Building Authentic Diversity." (Register here)
- Unitarian Universalist leaders of color and white allies have called for an association-wide conversation on structural racism which we will observe on Sunday, May 7, after both services. That Sunday we will build on the lessons learned from Chris Crass's April workshop, "Courage for Racial Justice."
- Additionally, please watch out for two upcoming Jubilee anti-racism trainings scheduled for May and over the summer.
The current climate in our country is a vulnerable one for many communities, especially people of color. Now more than ever our church and our faith must be a sanctuary for all. So even as we acknowledge the ways that we fall short, we must wholeheartedly embrace our mission to embody, equip and build the Beloved Community in our church and our world.
Our commitment to that mission is more important now than ever before.
I love you all, ROB