Friday, February 27, 2015
I just received by UU World today. Not surprisingly it is about racial justice. It got me to thinking about where do most UU's live. To me, one strong way of bringing about racial justice is to live together. Not necessarily in the same house, but in the same neighborhoods. I live in the suburb next to Ferguson. Many of my friends live in Ferguson and I am in that community all the time. My own community is reaching the white as minority threshold. In fact, many long time St. Louisans who have left my area (white flight) wonder why we still live here. Why? Because I want my kids to grow up in a diverse area. I want them to see all facets of the human race, both in terms of ethnicity and socio-economic status. I like where we live. I like the diversity. I have no desire to join my fellow "flighters" and live in all white/upper-middle class conclaves. This is why we have racial injustice. My children will grow up knowing that not all stereotypes are true, because they have experienced it themselves. They will not grow up conditioned to be afraid of African-American men because those men were once boys they went to school with and to birthday parties and to Boy Scouts, etc. Living together shows us all that we are each unique and not to subscribe to racial prejudices that may be consciously or unconsciously passed down through society. We are all just humans. I would encourage fellow UUs to look around their neighborhoods. Helping is one thing, but living together is another.
Thursday, January 1, 2015
I am usually pretty excited for the New Year, for all the standard reasons: new start, clean slate, possibilities, etc. This year I am just "meh". So what? - the calendar has continued its natural course and moved forward. Nothing really changes. Life continues on. I used to make resolutions for big plans in the next year, but why bother? I usually fail, and if I do succeed, not much really improves. 2014 was not a bad year for us. Thankfully, we were mostly healthy and happy. We visited family and took a couple of fun trips. There was time for us and hobbies. Husband has a good job and the kids are doing really well in school and in life. There is nothing to complain about. On one level, life is cruising along. On another level, I want more and feel guilty about it. I want a fulfilling job outside of the house, but after sending tons of resumes out, haven't even gotten an interview. I want to move. I am so tired of St. Louis. I have lived here for twenty years and from the day I moved here, I have been trying to leave. Unfortunately, Husband can't find a job (and doesn't really want to) outside of Missouri. I would love another child through adoption. The family doesn't. I would like to lose weight, but the medication I need, makes it incredibly difficult. So why make resolutions? Despite my best efforts, the things I want will not happen. The things I want are superfluous. I have everything and more then I really need. Making resolutions for more seems like a fool's errand.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Today was a beautiful day for St. Louis' People's Climate March. While I couldn't make it to the big one in New York, it still felt great to be part of the movement in some way. I was there as a representative of Missouri Interfaith Power & Light (and UU :-). While there were a few people of faith there, I was saddened that not more had turned out. We did quite a bit of outreach to the religious communities (Unitarian Universalists included), but very few came. I am not sure why. What does it take to motivate religious people? The weather was perfect, the march in a convenient location, and it is a social justice issue. Yet, there seems to still be disconnect and distinct lack of activism. I was heartened, though, by the faith representation in New York. Perhaps that will spread out to the rest of the country!
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I can't tell you how frustrating it is to here people pontificating on the circumstances of Ferguson when they don't even live in the area. Ferguson, and the St. Louis metro area as a whole, is complicated. I have lived here twenty years and I am sure I don't have a full grasp of all the nuances, especially in terms of race and class. It is irritating to listen to pundits dissect our city like they *know* what is going on/is wrong. They don't know. There is SO MUCH misinformation swarming around the interent that is impossible to know the true story. As I have said before, Ferguson is a great community full of well-meaning folks. I am there all the time. A tragedy has occured and people want answers. We aren't going to get the answers with every one distorting the truth - especially from those who aren't from the area. I can only pray that the agitators back down so that the true work of justice can begin.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
I live in the suburb next to Ferguson. I am often in the area where the riots are occuring. Ferguson is a great community and it breaks my heart that this is happening. I don't really know what to say. I don't understand why an unarmed man was shot & killed. I am frustrated that the police will not give out more information. I am appalled that people are using this as a reason to loot businesses that are supporting their community. I am horrified that the police are taking such militaristic tactics. I am saddened that the news and social media sites are not putting a greater emphasis on the citizens that are trying to help their neighborhood recover. If you only watched national news, you would think Ferguson is a war zone. It isn't. I am at a lost as to what to do to make the situation better. This isn't the Ferguson I know, and I feel helpless to do anything about it.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
This upcoming week, we are participating in our congregation's annual camping trip. This will be our first year. While we do a lot of Scout related camping, we aren't that big of campers and most of the family are introverts. We LOVE our alone/down time. But, this year, I decided to give a try. The kids are getting older (14, 13 and 10) and I know one of the best ways to keep them engaged in church, is to form solid friendships. Sunday's just aren't enough. I have seen many teenagers drift away from church as they have more say in their life. I don't want that to happen. When Husband and I moved to our current congregation after leaving our old one under difficult circumstances, it was challenging to develop new friendships like we had at our previous church. Therefore, the level of commitment wasn't there. Now that we have been attending for 4-5 years, those ties are stronger. I want my children to feel those ties, too. I am hoping that these next few days will help nurture that. I also hope that I don't lose it and flee the campsite in state of panic and hide in my room for the next week.....
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
While there is a lot of celebrating during candidating season, there is also a lot of mourning. My congregation received word this week that our Minister is leaving us for another congregation. To say I am upset is an understatement. It caught the majority of our congregation completely by surprise. In an effort for transparency, the Minister and Board will be hosting a fireside chat session next week, but is that enough? Do Ministers owe their congregations any sort of warning? I feel a bit betrayed. I really like our Minister and I have no idea on why he felt a need for another church. I thought he was happy here. Obviously, we will know more after the meeting, but I feel if he knew this was a possibility for a long time, why didn't he say something? We spent the whole year in the dark about his future intentions. I don't think I am alone in feeling this way. I feel that there is a special relationship between a congregation and its Minister and we deserve more than a vague announcement. Thoughts?