Friday, November 11, 2016

Pastoral Message to My Congregation

Today I'm dusting off this blog that I haven't updated with any regularity or seriousness for years in order to record messages to my church and my world about this scary world in which we live. First, my message this morning to my beloved congregants at The Community Church of Chapel Hill, Unitarian Universalist.

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Dear Beloved Congregants,

On Wednesday of this week we opened our doors to hold a space for sharing our tears and our fears, and to be together in the midst of grief. Approximately 60 of us came together to process and pray.

The results of the election are traumatizing. As I’ve spoken and visited with many of you, I’ve learned that we are struggling to make meaning and find direction in many different ways.

Some of us are numb and are turning to the simple things that bring us comfort and warmth.
Some of us are turning to spiritual practices to help us to regain our center.
Some of us are turning to analytical articles to seek explanations and to help chart a way forward based on understandings of racial, gender, and class divides.
Some of us are organizing and preparing strategies of engagement and resistance.
Some of us are reaching out in solidarity to our Muslim, Latino, African American, immigrant, and LGBTQ friends and neighbors who are especially vulnerable. Some of us are made especially fearful because of the identities we hold.
Some of us are sending donations to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the NAACP.
Some of us are trying to regulate our own feelings in order to create an emotionally safe environment for our children. For some of us, our own personal struggles are only compounded by the troubles of our nation.

I want you all to know that I am here for you. So is our excellent staff. So are our devoted church leaders. Our beloved community has never been more valuable or more needed. Church reminds us that we are not alone and helps us to find a sense of our own power even when the world has lost its way. Church keeps our deepest values and ultimate concerns ever before us.

This Sunday we’ll continue the work of grieving and the work of finding a way forward. We will sing. We will pray. We will hug. Community is a balm to us.

I love you and I am with you.

Rev. Thom