February 2023

When we understand love as the will to nurture our own and another’s spiritual growth, it becomes clear that we cannot claim to love if we are hurtful and abusive. Love and abuse cannot coexist. ~ bell hooks

Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word ‘love’ here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace—not in the sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.
~ James Baldwin

As Unitarian Universalists, love is the power that holds us together and is at the center of our shared values. We are accountable to one another for doing the work of living our shared values through the spiritual discipline of Love.
~ From the proposal for Article II.2.3 of the bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Association, January 2023

February is Black history month. February is the month when, in this part of the world, many of us feel how much winter is wearing on us. Our theme this February is love.

In November I spoke about the project to revise the section of our UU Association bylaws that contains our principles and sources. The principles and sources are, for some of us, a lodestone. Some of us raised children who were shaped by the values they express and for whom the words themselves hold great meaning.

And... times change.

For the next few months we have an opportunity to thoughtfully consider the proposed changes to those principles and sources. We have opportunities to suggest amendments to the proposal, and a responsibility to send delegates to General Assembly, in person or online, to cast votes on the congregation’s behalf. 

I invite you to re-read and reflect on the thoughts from the two brilliant Black Americans quoted above. I invite you to read this letter from UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray that went to religious professionals and lay leaders.

And I invite you to learn about and read the report and proposal itself: Article II Study Commission January 2023.

I’m excited about engaging in this work with you. It is a joy to be your minister.Janets signature