Letter from UUC’s Ministers

Vigil tonight, Thursday, June 4, 7 p.m. at UUC

Signs ("Black Lives Matter"), photos, candles and flowers laid out on sidewalk

Dear UUC Family, 

In the midst of a pandemic that has already laid bare the structural inequalities and racial disparities that run deep in this country, the recent police killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Manuel Ellis have reopened a wound that has never healed. Across the nation and globe, people are crying out from the pain of violence against Black and Brown bodies at the hands of the police and the wound of living in a culture in which all lives do not matter because Black lives are routinely treated as if they do not matter. And while not everyone carries or understands this pain equally, this woundedness impacts and dehumanizes us all. It is beyond time to challenge racism by actively dismantling White Supremacy Culture and working together towards restorative justice, equity, and the redistribution of power and resources in ways that nurture the possibility of Beloved Community. 

People are joining in protest, bringing their grief, anger, demands, and hope to the streets and calling upon elected officials to make concrete moves towards justice and community safety. It seems as if our country is at a flash point. What changes might emerge from this moment depends on people showing up in a myriad of ways to make it so.

As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person and decry systems and actions that deny this birthright to Black people. Grounded in the knowledge that we are deeply interconnected to one another, it is our religious practice and covenant to center truth telling, justice, equity and compassion in human relationships. At UUC, we have placed the affirmation that Black Lives Matter on our church building. A statement born of both love and outrage at Black lives that have been claimed by police violence. Our prayer is that these words do not comfort those of us who have racial privilege, but challenge us to strive, internally, interpersonally and institutionally, towards a day in which Black Lives Matter. 

To our white siblings in faith who are waking up anew to the violence of racism, now is the time to answer this national call to educate yourselves, push beyond your comfort zones, and follow the vision of leaders of color and the youth who are speaking truth to power. Your church community is here to support you and accompany you on this path. 

To our UUC family who have been working diligently towards collective liberation through direct action, advocacy, relationship building, inward transformation and institutional change, your courage is a beacon. Your community is behind you and alongside you.

To our Black and Brown siblings of faith, we see you. We love you. Your life matters. While your church community will do this imperfectly, we are with you, in and through this time. Take care of your beautiful hearts and spirits. Your life matters. 

Tonight, June 4, at 7:00 p.m., members of the Racial Justice team invite you to join for a socially distanced Black Lives Matter vigil outside of UUC to remember those killed and build a public altar.

Next Wednesday, June 10, at 7:00 p.m., you are invited to join for a Vespers service witnessing to what is happening in our nation right now. 

Please watch the Gateway, website, and Facebook page for more ways to take action or join in vigil in the coming weeks. 

In covenant,

University Unitarian Church’s Ministers, Rev. Jon Luopa and Rev. Beth Chronister