Dear Ones- Our theme for October is “courage”. As I write this, I can hear Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz: “Courage!”
It truly does take a great deal of courage to live in our world today. Let’s face it…our modern world is a frightening and dangerous place. It’s probably always been- I’m sure our ancestors, too, thought the world was a frightening and dangerous place. I remember the terror of the Cold War, when we saw movies such as “On The Beach” which predicted the end of humanity through the stupidity of nuclear warfare. Throughout history prophets and poets have looked at the world around them and were convinced that “the end is nigh”. Somehow, of course, the world didn’t end. Days continued into night, weeks continued into years, and centuries continued to pile on top of centuries.
But the grim reality is that our world really is, in fact, facing extreme crises on many levels. Certainly, nuclear warfare is still a very real threat, particularly as countries with an arsenal of nuclear weapons increase their numbers, and leaders of all stripes seem willing to “push the button”. Climate change, too, is certainly one of the biggest (current) threats to our existence, resulting in climate refugees, sea level rise, altered and more volatile weather patterns, and a host of catastrophic consequences.
In a world where so much could go so terribly, terribly wrong, why, then, do I speak of courage?
Because I believe that living in our world does, in fact, require courage. It requires that we, as Unitarian Universalists, stand before the engines of war and destruction and say “this must stop”. It requires that we have the strength of our convictions, no matter how unpopular. It requires that, no matter what the world says, we continue to say “yes” to life. It requires that we see each person we meet- from king to beggar- as having “inherent worth and dignity”. It requires that we open our hearts and minds to the possibility that we CAN make the world a better place for all people.
Courage requires actions, both large and small. Sometimes the act is as large as demonstrating for climate action, or literally standing between the vulnerable and those who would do harm. But sometimes it is a small and seemingly mundane act – getting out of bed in the morning and living authentically. These are all acts of courage, and this month at UUFS we’re going to be considering some of those.
We start off the month on Oct 6 with our “National Coming Out Day” celebration of those who choose to live authentically. It will be a fun, joyful intergenerational service, and you are invited to wear your most colorful outfit as you “Let Your Colors Show”! Special music will be provided by the Jerome Kelly Trio, and I’m planning on making a rainbow cake!
On Oct 13 Christina Johnson will speak to us about her work with Habitat for Humanity.
On Oct 20 I’ll be speaking about gun violence, and what we can do to combat this scourge which everyone agrees is a terrible problem.
On Oct 27, Vicki Demos will honor UN Sunday by speaking about “On United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, Gender Equality”. Sam Eddington will be our guest musician that day.
I certainly urge you to look further into this newsletter for additional details.
So there it is… each Sunday we’ll look at the courage it takes to step up, speak up, and show up. Join us!
Wishing you peace and blessings,