Letter from Rev. Beth Chronister, May 2017
Immigration Justice and the Practice of Unitarian Universalism:
Accompaniment as an Embodiment of Covenant
The Latin roots of “companioning” are:
to be together (“com”) in eating bread (“panis”), face to face
For the past several months, people at UUC have gathered to discern how we might show up as Unitarian Universalists to support immigrant, refugee, and Muslim communities and connect with the interfaith organizing currently happening throughout the Puget Sound area. People have come to these meetings for any number of reasons: new awareness about how little they know, heartbreak about the rise in hate crimes against Muslims, being in a family that includes immigrants, or having a long commitment to companioning people who are disproportionally affected by systems of oppression. Whatever brought each person to a point of saying, “Yes!” to this call of solidarity, we are collectively reflecting on the practices of accompaniment and covenant as the foundation for this work. For wherever our individual and collective “Yes!” leads us, we know that the path ahead will be shaped by being in relationship with the people and communities that are most affected, responding respectfully to their leadership and listening deeply to their stories, and doing our own, personal work of self-reflection, examining bias, and leaving the safety of known ways so that we may be more authentic companions on this journey. Each commitment listed above is a spiritual practice, learned over time through action, reflection, taking risks, making mistakes, and being in relationship over the long haul. And each is a chance to live the tenets of our faith, which boldly state that each and every person has inherent worth and dignity, that our lives are interconnected and inseparable, and that the ways we are in intentional and loving relationship matter.
The UUC Immigration Justice group‘s next meeting will be on Sunday, May 21, following services (approximately 12:30 p.m.) Please consider joining us and exploring that “Yes!” taking shape in your own heart.
Rev. Beth Chronister