LEADER LETTER

Five days before the month starts, subscribing congregations should share this letter with congregational leaders.  Being oriented to the month’s theme, and equipped to help others in the congregation get aligned with it, builds the whole congregation’s engagement with the theme.  Which, of course, means unity and energy for the community.

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"Change" LEADER LETTER

Friends,

It was a revelation to many, almost five hundred years ago, when Nicholas Copernicus said that the earth was not the center of the universe.  When he said that, instead, the earth rotated around the sun.  This wasn't only a shift in perspective.  It was a destabilizing realization: the world looks different when you're not at the center.  White people of conscience often go through a process of "de-centering" their own perspectives, as well.  After years of schooling that elevate the European and European-American experience as normative, after life experience that reinforces the notion of white supremacy, it can be a challenge for white people to de-center themselves.  You might say it's a personal, or spiritual, Copernican revolution.  Change is difficult.  We resist it.  And especially if it asks sacrifice of us.  With all the benefits of whiteness, why would a person "de-center" themselves?  Why would a person give up worldly power?  As I see it, the only reason would be if a spiritual gift appeared to be of greater value than the worldly assurance of white supremacy.

And what if the Copernican Revolution signaled not the arrival at an accurate view of the universe, but only a baby step toward it?  For years, my mental model of the universe was like a solar system in a classroom--the kind with the planets made of wood suspended by metal rods, rotating slowly.  But recently, I saw a video of the solar system, as it actually is: the sun, a star shooting through the blackness, and the planets like kittens circling around a mother as she moves forward through the hedges.  What if a person de-centered their experience, their worldview, constructed by habits of empire and oppression, and realized, after all that work, that they weren't done yet?  That they'd only arrived at the equivalent of a classroom model of things?  Well, it might be frustrating!  Or exhausting!  Or a person might feel hopeless, to have undergone such tremendous change, only to discover that more was asked of them.  But maybe change is exhausting or frustrating only if we see it as a disruption from our otherwise stable lives.  What if change were what was continuous in our lives?  What if stability wasn't normal, but a form of resisting life, of denying it, even?  What if, for all the work we've done to grow and mature in our lives, a whole universe of wisdom and growth awaited us?  For some, that may be daunting.  For others, it may be inviting.  But for all, it is accurate.  We are never done growing, never done maturing, never done evolving, throughout our whole lives.  Blessings on the effort it takes, on the imagination it takes, and the persistence it takes, to become the person you are gradually becoming.  Blessings on the change you're going through, even now.

Peace,

Jake

Rev. Jake Morrill
Senior Minister ORUUC
Executive Director UUCF
Launchpad Partner