One of my favorite quotes is from Unitarian theologian James Luther Adams, who said “Church is a place where you get to practice what it means to be human.”
Being human means being fallible. A colleague once shared that they preached a sermon on the perils of perfectionism, titled “Nobody’s Prefekt.” Half the congregation pointed out the (intentional) typos in the title after the service.
Several of us are currently engaged in reading and discussion Isabel Wilkerson’s important (and very readable) book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. I know that I and some others in the group have been working on learning and becoming more actively anti-racist. And we still err, blinded by the culture that we are immersed in, we miss things.
Most recently I missed the problem with the illustrations for a story for all ages which portrayed people as apes, which reminded several people of a common racist trope. Ugh. I hate when that happens, and do apologize for the negative impact that had on several people who kindly explained the problem to me – and to those who weren’t part of the conversation, but still felt a negative impact.
Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” I am determined to do better – not to be perfect, because none of us is that – but to do better. This is the nature of learning, and being human – to try, to fail, to do better in trying again; to fail again, and to keep doing better. May we all keep trying, keep failing, and keep doing better.
Be well, and stay safe everyone!
Rev. Lori Hlaban
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