UUC at the MLK Day 2019 March

Only in the darkness can you see the stars.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Under constant police presence, a hovering helicopter and scattered clouds, over forty members and friends of Seattle’s UUC let love guide our feet on Monday, January 21st. From workshops and rally in the Central District’s Garfield High to the downtown plaza of Westlake Park, we carried our current concerns in memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership. Gentle angry people managed our huge “Love Resists/UUC Solidarity” banner through the streets as others found solidarity by carrying our “Side with Love” and other signs.

You would have recognized someone in UUC’s crowd because there were congregants from many areas of church life along with friends, family and non-churchgoers, including Rev. Beth Chronister and “Not for Ourselves Alone” leader Katie Renschler: Sunday Welcoming & Meadowbrook Set-up Crew, InterGenerational Choir, Women’s Group, Men’s Group, Care Team, Climate Action Team, UU Humanists, Racial Justice Study Group, Beloved Conversations, Immigrant Justice, UUs for Justice in the Middle East, Racial Justice Team, Interweave, Wellspring, Board of Trustees, Equity Team….and probably some former and current Covenant Group members.

Children and youth brought their parents; the youngest used a stroller, our oldest had a cane. We joined forces with other congregations, organizations, unions and citizens seeking to build a more just and equitable country. As Mike Kippes, banner-maker, bearer and all around force for justice, said by text, “So very glad to have had such a good day, in UUC being a visual and energetic presence today!”

UUC’s presence as a community on MLK Day was assured when about twenty people gathered after the service on Sun Jan 20th for Prayerful Preparation. Led by two activists from UUC—previously unfamiliar with each other–Catherine Ruha and Victoria Scott, the brief centering time of readings, testimonies, songs, and logistical details for the next day’s activities prepared us to connect with each other in the midst of pre-march throngs at Garfield High.

The holiday weekend had overflowed with creative and concerned activities around the Womxn’s March and MLK Day. Whether we had been actively engaged or less so, UUCers had a brief opportunity to reflect on our experience in a purposeful small group quickly set up at the far end of coffee hour on Jan 27. Prepared well by the transcendental music of the morning’s worship, where Rev. Jon Luopa illustrated the wonder-filled poetry of Mary Oliver and his own version of a burning bush, we shared a couple of songs and the ability to be present with each other: pondering and acknowledging that with each fresh day we can recommit to building up a new world of justice in community.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it first, “When it is dark enough you can see the stars.” UUC felt like a guiding constellation during the January dark of 2019. If you would like to find ways of connecting to UUC’s justice work, contact any of the groups through UUC’s website or Racial Justice Team members, Margaret Sutro and Marla Murdock.