Last Sunday Dr. Brennan talked about prayers we might say daily. This one seems to apply to the events of the last week: “May I find the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change those things that I can change and the wisdom to know the difference.”
We mourn and rage at the gun deaths in Las Vegas, we mourn and rage at those whose lives have turned to desperation in Puerto Rico and other hurricane ravaged areas. We mourn when we see what political manipulation, foreign fake ad campaigns, and created rumors have done to our democracy. And what can we do but be serene? What is done is done.
We can learn and work. Last week we had a good turnout for the “Hearing” on two motions coming to a congregational vote Sunday. One gives our unconditional support for transgender service members, both currently in the military and those who wish to join — That is how I read it, and how I will represent CVUU/UCN’s public position. The second (actually to be voted on first) follows from last month’s public forum on redistricting. It calls us to declare support for fair drawing of legislative lines. I urge you to stay for these votes. The vote follows the meeting, and no amendments are allowed, so I trust the meeting will be quick.
Dorothy Day observed: “we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time.” Change takes time, and there are many steps. The redistricting resolution seeks to support legislation in the next session, that will not be used until 2021, when new lines are drawn following the 2020 Census. Enduring change takes time and planning.
Phyllis Stein turned me on to some good news! It is an excellent example of how long some changes take: We know that part of being wise in the future involves knowing the past. Education is the work of generations. Phyllis reports that the Chesapeake City Council has acknowledged the importance of that work. The City will begin construction of the Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways Visitor Center and Museum, a facility to teach history — from the American Revolution to the Industrial Revolution and to give historical context to residents and visitors alike. Tony Stein helped found the planning group — 18 years ago!
It was good to see members at the brewery on Monday for the “Talk Saves Lives Training.” If we are to build beloved community, we need everybody, and need to understand the signs and risk factors of suicide. Holding the event in O’Connor Brewery was fun and informal. Mental health education is not an instant thing, it is a continuing community task – why not enjoy it? In another week there will be “Out of Darkness Community Walks” in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, and other Mental Health Awareness events through the month. Is there interest in CVUU/UCN promoting mental health in a more methodical way? Start a group? Send me a note — (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tonight (Friday) at 7 come to UCN for tea and cake at the Death Cafe, put on by the Caring Team. Afterward you can rock out at a Concert for Mental Health Awareness at TOAST in Ghent, see Altdaily.com for ticket details. Then, this Sunday, Columbus Day Weekend, we go “Beyond Conquest” in our worship service, which will include meditation and time to heal together.
And lastly, we need you… in costume on the 29th for our Halloween parade! It is held at the end of our final October Sunday Service. Walk, roll or cheer at our annual, in house, pre-Halloween parade!
I love you,