Leader Letter

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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Dear Friends,

Can a person truly ever make change?  Maybe that sounds fatalistic, but I mean to orient us to how we are in the world.  As expressions of life, as iterations of the force that pulses through evolution, through each moment, we are little mortal products of a wider process of evolution.  In our lives, as we respond to shifting conditions within our environment, we adapt.  Change, it seems, never stops.  It's the context in which we do everything.  If you find an elementary school textbook, and look up the rock cycle, you'll see that even that most permanent-seeming object--a rock--exists always in an ongoing process of change. 

So, given all this, can we make change?  Of course, one can point to those brave souls throughout history who have dared to imagine a society ordered differently than the one that they know.  I think of suffragists, pouring bleach onto the golf courses enjoyed by the patriarchal elite, spelling out messages in the lawns that advocated for equality.  I think of how suffragists were scorned, beaten, and starved, in the name of the dream they held before them.  And of how, looking back, it's clear that these souls, however heroic, were themselves blindered by systemic racism, so that they often seemed to be fighting only for the rights of white women, and not all women. 

But still! Think of ancestors we've known--ones who've dreamed and done so much more with their lives than many of us can imagine doing ourselves--and how can a person ever be skeptical that change is possible, in our lives and in our society?  We've seen it ourselves.  We've known change in our lives.  We've seen how society can change.  But, again, the question, can we make it?  Can we create the outcome of a changed life, or a changed society? And, if so, how?  How do we harness our intentions and our vision for a world born again in closer alignment with our values--how do we yoke what we want--to conditions that are ever in flux? 

What, in the end, is our theory of change?  How do we understand our actions in relationship to the change we desire?  This is no trivial question.  In a warming planet, in a society riven by racism and oppression, in lives that are struggling and strained, how do we choose how we will spend our days? What choices do we believe will produce a closer life to the one we have dreamed of?  As we go through this month, meditating on change, let's reflect and challenge ourselves to get clear, and then clearer, about how change can happen. Not only through nature, but, echoing it, through our lives and the lives we are seeking to impact.

Faithfully,

Jake

Faithfully,

Jake

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