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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"Resilience" LEADER LETTER for September

Dear Friends,

 Recently, I read a book called Anti-Fragile, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.  Taleb has written other books, like The Black Swan,  which engage the phenomenon of uncertainty and unpredictability in a complex world. Rather than proposing ways to mitigate disorder, his work actually takes up the question  of how to flourish amidst it. In Anti-Fragile, Taleb lists occasions in which disorder is strengthening.  When you break a bone, it grows back less breakable.  When a government tries to quell a rumor or riot, that rumor or riot grows.  Nietzsche famously said, "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger," and that is Taleb's premise: that we are improved and strengthened by the trials of life. 

In this anxious age, with an incompetent President endangering lives while climate change rolls forth, unchecked, we might wish for order, calm, and stability.  But what we might be challenged to consider is that things will be in flux for some time, and that safety may be an illusion--which is no secret to people who've lived under racism or poverty or other forms of violence throughout history.  If safety is an illusion, something deep is called from us: resilience.  The power to stay awake, to stay nimble, to stay loving, to stay strong, to stay alive.  We may wonder how to attain resilience.  But it could be that we have it within us already, lying dormant, waiting to be brought to the fore by brave hearts.   This month, our theme is resilience. Let us help each other practice staying strong in the storm, and even developing our capacities because of the trails we have known. 

Faithfully,

Jake

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