Minister's Column


  Pastor Kathy Rickey.jpg

Reverend Kathy Rickey  

 

Reverend Kathy is available by appointment on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.   On Thursdays, she will be available 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., except the third Thursday of the month.  Friday will be Reverend Kathy’s sermon-writing day, and Tuesday will be her day off.   Reverend Kathy's email: revk2rickey@gmail.com


 A WORD FROM OUR MINISTER—  

Dear All,

I write from Atlanta, Georgia where I spent the weekend at an Allies for Racial Equity (ARE) conference.  ARE is comprised of one hundred or so white UU’s who are committed to supporting the work of diverse and multicultural UU’s and also Black Lives UU or BLUU.  The conference featured Chris Crass, an educator, activist, writer, and UU. Chris has two books published: (1) Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy and (2) Towards the “Other America”: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter.

Chris gave a rousing sermon on Sunday morning at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta.  His idea of collective liberation — none of us are free until all of us are free — is compelling and an idea manifest of our UU values.  Chris is provocative in his vision of an evolved America in which oppression (power-over) is supplanted by mutual freedom (power-with); this is his idea of Beloved Community.  Of course, such a Beloved Community would entail dismantling systems of racism, oppression, marginalization and replacing them with social and political structures far different from the way we are doing the socio-political now.  Inherent in Chris Crass’ vision is the long view but one that we must start to engage now.

Chris uses the term “white supremacy” not as finger-pointing to a person or persons (say Neo-Nazis) but as reference to the constellation of social structures which keep the poor and marginalized down while keeping the dominant culture in power.  Examples of how these structures manifest themselves are those we know in our own Volusia Community: school-to-prison pipelines, unfair wages, lack of affordable housing, abandonment of the homeless and addicted, and more.  White Supremacy — as a social ill — hurts us all.

Chris also talks about how impoverished white culture has become in its dominance. We are in danger of becoming a mono-culture which could well lead to self-extinction. We need many identities, ideas, values, beliefs, and approaches in our democracy in order for it to survive! We need everyone among us to be empowered. We cannot survive if all cannot survive.

In terms of this month’s worship theme, I conclude with this idea: we may enjoy an abundance of company in like- mindedness, like-values, and look-alike but that can create shallowness too.  Being a diverse institution, community, or nation deepens the abundance among us and ensures our survival.

          Yours in faith,                                                     
                                                                                                                                  Rev. Kathy                                                                                                                                                                                 

Following the 1968 UUA General Assembly most African-Americans left our congregations over what became known as the Empowerment Controversy.  For a summary of these events, I encourage you to read “Not Our Finest Hour.”  Rev. Kathy Rickey