…You are loved beyond belief. You are enough, you are precious, your work and your life matter, and you are not alone. You are part of a “we,” a great cloud of witnesses living and dead who have insisted that this beautiful, broken world of ours is a blessing worthy of both deep gratitude and fierce protection. Our ancestors and our descendants are beckoning us, compelling us onward toward greater connection, greater compassion, greater commitment to one another and to the earth.From “The Holy Work of Showing Up” by Ashley Horan
Together, we are resilient and resourceful enough to say “yes” to that call, to make it our life’s work in a thousand different ways, knowing that we can do no other than bind ourselves more tightly together, and throw ourselves into the holy work of showing up, again and again, to be part of building that world of which we dream… but which we have not yet seen.
Thank you so much every one who shared a memory from 25 years ago. Thank all of you who are charter members for being here today.
Ashley Horan asks us to “throw ourselves into the holy work of showing up.” Some of you precious souls have been showing up again and again for 25 years. That is absolutely amazing. So much of what you dreamed of 25 years ago, “we” have become. The church in a box, now in a building, long of service in and to the greater Somerville community, a warm and welcoming community. You’ve shown up to build a better world. You’ve shown up to make each other’s worlds better.
You’ve shown up to change, and change you have. Just this week the Article 2 Commission published what they think might work for us, a description for us as Unitarian Universalists going forward. This is part of that description:
Love is the enduring force that holds us together. As Unitarian Universalists in religious community, we covenant, congregation-to-congregation and through our association, to support and assist each other in engaging our ministries. We draw from our heritages of freedom and reason, hope and courage, building on the foundation of love. Love inspires and powers the passion with which we embody our values. Inseparable from one another, these shared values are:
Justice. We work to be diverse multicultural Beloved Communities where all people thrive. We covenant to dismantle racism and all forms of oppression within individuals and our institutions. We are accountable to each other for this work.
Generosity. We cultivate a spirit of gratitude and hope. We covenant to freely share our faith, presence, and resources. Compassionate generosity connects us one to another in relationships of mutuality.
Evolution. We adapt to the changing world. We covenant to collectively transform and grow spiritually and ethically. Evolution is fundamental to life and to our Unitarian Universalist heritages, never complete and never perfect.
Pluralism. We celebrate that we are all sacred beings diverse in culture, theology, and experience. We covenant to learn from one another and openly explore the depth and breadth of our many wisdoms. We embrace our differences and commonalities with love, curiosity, and respect.
Equity. We declare that every person has the right to flourish with dignity and worthiness. We covenant to use our time, wisdom, attention, and money to build and sustain a fully inclusive and accessible community of communities.
Interdependence. We honor the sacred interdependent web of all existence. With humility we understand our place in the web. We covenant to care for and respect the earth and all beings by fostering relationships of mutuality. We work to repair the bonds we have broken.
(See Article II Study Commission | UUA.org)
Again, and again, and again. Those words are fresh, brand new. Yet, they describe who you have been for 25 years; who you will be for 25 more years.