If love were the central practice of a new generation of organizers and spiritual leaders, it would have a massive impact… If the goal was to increase the love, rather than winning or dominating a constant opponent, I think we could actually imagine liberation from constant oppression… We would understand that the strength of our movement is in the strength of our relationships, which could only be measured by their depth.
– Adrienne Maree Brown
Happy Black History Month! Let us take time this month–and every month–to reflect upon the joys celebrated, the dreams realized, the justice that’s still demanded, and our own callings to the ongoing struggle to co-create an anti-racist society and inclusive beloved community. Let us commit ourselves to this work within our own religious movement through our engagements with Beloved Conversations, the UUA’s Widening the Circle of Concern Report on Institutional Change, and the 8th Principle which calls for these efforts to be recognized as integral to our identities as Unitarian Universalists. We must also continue to call for broader societal changes including the work of reparations and ending mass incarceration to begin to repair some of the profound and extensive damage done by generations of upholding the culture, practices, and policies of white supremacy in our society. We must continue to “Lift every voice and sing, until earth and heaven ring, ring with the harmonies of liberty.”
Our Soul Matters spiritual theme for community contemplation this month is The Path of Love. Our noble tradition has embraced love in all of its breadth and depth as the foundation for religious life. It is the doctrine to which we ascribe and the spirit we profess. We’ve never been satisfied with a love that is reduced to the emotional or the interpersonal but have instead found satisfaction in a love that is expansive and universal, a love that has the power to transform all of the conditions of our lives and the powers and structures of society. Cornel West reminds us, “Tenderness is what love feels like in private and justice is what love looks like in public.” This is the intimate and transcendent love our spiritual ancestors ascribed to when they declared “G-d is Love” and then taught us the ways of love in affirming and promoting our liberal religious principles, covenants, and values. Our loving is a practice and this month’s theme welcomes us to refine and deepen our spiritual living.
Our friends at Soul Matters invite us to reflect together this month in our small groups and church meeting check-ins with these stimulating questions:
- Whose love has companioned you the longest?
- How has love changed as you’ve gotten older?
- When did love invite you to play?
- What most helped put you back together after love broke you to bits?
- What is society’s biggest misunderstanding about love?
- What promise might love be wanting you to make?
- What do you know of “a love that will not let us go”?
- What has been your greatest act of love?
If you have joys, sorrows, or milestones to share with the life of the community on a Sunday morning or if you would like confidential support from one of our Pastoral Associates, please email our Pastoral Care Team Co-Chairs, Linda and Denise, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in ministry and love,
Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae