As we leave our January theme of Possibility for the February theme of Trust, I’ve been reflecting on how these can be linked. We all see multiple possibilities in life – how do we know which way to go?
Anne Lamott once wrote about her minister preaching on trusting in the Divine that the next step would become clear when it needed to appear. Lamott described the minister as demonstrating from the pulpit, moving one step at a time as if stepping from one stone to another.
Similarly, the Friends (also known as Quakers) speak of discernment as waiting for “the way to open,” and trusting that it will. Parker Palmer wrote that he’s learned that for him, more often ways close!
Even more, though, I think trust in this sense is related to faith – faith in oneself, faith that one will receive good advice, faith that things can work out well. My friend Ean Behr has made a lot of interesting choices in his life, including entering and then dropping out of seminary. Fortunately, he also contributed to the great repository of UU worship materials with these words:
“You are in the story of the world.
You are the world coming to know itself.
May you trust that all you will ever say or do
Belongs in the story of the world.”
Rev. Lori Hlaban
I was glad to walk with the UUFB contingent – 20 strong! – at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parade on Monday, Jan. 21st. It was a chilly day, but our hearts and spirits were warm. As we see so many attempts to roll back civil rights gains for people of color, for women, for LGBTQ people; it is good to remember that none of us is truly free until all of us are free.
It was also wonderful to see so many people at the service this past Sunday, hearing the words of two modern prophets – Dr. King and Dr. William J. Barber. Our second source from which our living tradition draws inspiration is “Words and deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.”
Dr. King was the Ware Lecturer at the May, 1966 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association, where he presented his speech “Don’t Sleep Through the Revolution.” It was there that he encouraged all to not be satisfied or content with the progress that had been made. He said:
“…there are some things in our nation and in our world to which I’m proud to be maladjusted. … I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few… to the madness of militarism, and to the self-defeating effects of physical violence. … Through such maladjustment we will be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man, into the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice.”
Let us continue to be aware, awake, and discontented with those things to which Dr. King said we should be maladjusted. So may it be.
Rev. Lori Hlaban
REMINDER: The first Community Office Hours will be TODAY, Thursday, Jan. 17th, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Common Ground. I’m looking forward to it!
Last Sunday our Social and Environmental Justice Committee showed up to service with signs to remind us all of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parade on Monday, January 21st. There’s an article elsewhere in this newsletter with the details. I’m hoping to join the UUFB contingent this year.
Remember, too, that this month’s theme is about exploring possibility. The Small Group packet from Soul Matters offers several quotes on possibility for contemplation, and I’d like to share this one with you, from organization and management consultant Margaret Wheatley:
“There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.
Ask: “What’s possible? not “What’s wrong?”
Notice what you care about
Assume that others share your dreams…”
Looking forward to exploring all the possibilities of 2019 with you!
Rev. Lori Hlaban
It was a pleasure to be able to participate in UUFB’s annual Peace Vigil at Cannon Park on Jan. 1st. Co-led by Chris Raskind and Ben Sellers, we shared readings, sang songs, and offered intentions for a peaceful New Year. This is a lovely and meaningful tradition!
Now I’m glad to be back from a brief vacation! Tom and I visited family and even managed to get all three of our adult children in the same place for about 24 hours.
Something I’d like to try in 2019 is Community Office Hours. The basic concept is that, at least once a month I’ll be available somewhere in Beaufort for UUFB members and friends to drop by and chat about whatever is on their minds. Typically this will be in one of the coffee shops where it’s not unusual for someone to linger for some time. The time and day will vary, so watch the Headline News, orders of service, UUFB Beloved Community Forum, and the UUFB Facebook page for those details. The first Community Office Hours will be next Thursday, Jan. 17th, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Common Ground. I hope to see some of you there!
Blessings to you,
Rev. Lori Hlaban