1 00:00:00,420 --> 00:00:06,779 good morning 2 00:00:03,689 --> 00:00:10,149 thanks for that wonderful introduction I 3 00:00:06,779 --> 00:00:11,949 have the honor of facilitating a short 4 00:00:10,149 --> 00:00:15,100 conversation with these wonderful 5 00:00:11,949 --> 00:00:17,110 leaders who have been serving as your co 6 00:00:15,100 --> 00:00:20,259 precedence for the Unitarian 7 00:00:17,110 --> 00:00:23,079 Universalist Association as an 8 00:00:20,259 --> 00:00:25,930 association we benefited from the 9 00:00:23,079 --> 00:00:28,808 thoughtfulness and wisdom of our board 10 00:00:25,930 --> 00:00:31,649 of trustees when they called these three 11 00:00:28,808 --> 00:00:31,649 leaders 12 00:00:37,920 --> 00:00:43,030 they stepped in and provided leadership 13 00:00:40,510 --> 00:00:46,090 after the resignation of Reverend Peter 14 00:00:43,030 --> 00:00:49,239 Morales and we are so blessed that these 15 00:00:46,090 --> 00:00:50,200 three leaders accepted the call I'm 16 00:00:49,239 --> 00:00:53,200 going to give you a little more 17 00:00:50,200 --> 00:00:55,180 background about our presidents will be 18 00:00:53,200 --> 00:00:56,979 very brief but just so you know that 19 00:00:55,180 --> 00:00:58,930 Reverend is Sophia Bettencourt 20 00:00:56,979 --> 00:01:00,330 serves as the assistant professor of the 21 00:00:58,930 --> 00:01:03,729 Unitarian Universalist 22 00:01:00,330 --> 00:01:08,410 theologies and ethics at the Star King 23 00:01:03,729 --> 00:01:12,700 School for the ministry she they're all 24 00:01:08,410 --> 00:01:15,190 back there she also served as director 25 00:01:12,700 --> 00:01:17,430 of racial and ethnic concerns for the 26 00:01:15,190 --> 00:01:20,800 Unitarian Universalist Association and 27 00:01:17,430 --> 00:01:24,970 her ministry centers on the work that is 28 00:01:20,800 --> 00:01:28,090 empowering and counter oppressive dr. 29 00:01:24,970 --> 00:01:30,220 Leon Spencer is a longtime lay leader in 30 00:01:28,090 --> 00:01:32,710 our movement and the recipient of the 31 00:01:30,220 --> 00:01:37,259 2009 Unitarian Universalist 32 00:01:32,710 --> 00:01:37,259 Distinguished Service Award he is 33 00:01:39,820 --> 00:01:44,479 he has served the Association at the 34 00:01:42,649 --> 00:01:48,530 congregational regional and 35 00:01:44,479 --> 00:01:50,179 associational level dr. Spencer is 36 00:01:48,530 --> 00:01:52,370 professor emeritus in leadership 37 00:01:50,179 --> 00:01:56,389 technology and human development at 38 00:01:52,370 --> 00:02:01,030 Georgia Southern University and then 39 00:01:56,389 --> 00:02:01,030 there is Reverend bill sinc furred 40 00:02:06,800 --> 00:02:15,350 do I need to say anything sorry 41 00:02:15,380 --> 00:02:22,079 rep bill is on loan from the First 42 00:02:19,890 --> 00:02:23,460 Unitarian Universalists a First 43 00:02:22,079 --> 00:02:25,829 Unitarian Church of Portland Oregon 44 00:02:23,460 --> 00:02:28,020 where he serves as senior minister and 45 00:02:25,829 --> 00:02:30,510 Reverend sing furred for those of you 46 00:02:28,020 --> 00:02:32,910 who may not be aware served as our 47 00:02:30,510 --> 00:02:38,900 president of this association for the 48 00:02:32,910 --> 00:02:38,900 first time from 2001 to 2009 49 00:02:45,120 --> 00:02:49,360 our co-presidents wish to share a little 50 00:02:47,980 --> 00:02:52,209 of their experience that they've had 51 00:02:49,360 --> 00:02:57,129 over the last 11 weeks candidly they 52 00:02:52,209 --> 00:02:59,560 said it felt more like 11 years they 53 00:02:57,129 --> 00:03:02,079 also liked would like to share some of 54 00:02:59,560 --> 00:03:04,510 their hopes and challenges of for our 55 00:03:02,079 --> 00:03:06,940 faith and the intent at hat is to have 56 00:03:04,510 --> 00:03:10,120 an informal conversation here you will 57 00:03:06,940 --> 00:03:14,650 hear a more formal report tomorrow 58 00:03:10,120 --> 00:03:18,220 morning Sophia and Leon and bill ask 59 00:03:14,650 --> 00:03:20,950 that you hold your applause until the 60 00:03:18,220 --> 00:03:22,680 conversation is completed we know this 61 00:03:20,950 --> 00:03:25,150 is a big ask 62 00:03:22,680 --> 00:03:29,410 considering that you are you use and 63 00:03:25,150 --> 00:03:31,599 very expressive however during the 64 00:03:29,410 --> 00:03:34,209 conversation if you can limit your 65 00:03:31,599 --> 00:03:36,640 appreciation perhaps to a hand waving 66 00:03:34,209 --> 00:03:38,410 and maybe a few shout outs that's okay 67 00:03:36,640 --> 00:03:41,829 what we don't want to break up the flow 68 00:03:38,410 --> 00:03:43,989 too much it would greatly honor our 69 00:03:41,829 --> 00:03:48,900 co-presidents and also honor the limited 70 00:03:43,989 --> 00:03:54,370 time that we have so shall we jump in 71 00:03:48,900 --> 00:04:00,269 first question what made you say yes and 72 00:03:54,370 --> 00:04:00,269 why why did you agree to these rules 73 00:04:00,389 --> 00:04:14,168 whoever would like to start please go 74 00:04:05,880 --> 00:04:18,010 I've asked myself that question and my 75 00:04:14,168 --> 00:04:22,710 reason for saying yes is because I saw 76 00:04:18,010 --> 00:04:29,430 it as another opportunity to come home 77 00:04:22,710 --> 00:04:34,960 and that was specifically related to a 78 00:04:29,430 --> 00:04:39,880 gathering of blue here in New Orleans on 79 00:04:34,960 --> 00:04:44,530 a Mississippi River and at that 80 00:04:39,880 --> 00:04:47,530 gathering I saw a number of a room full 81 00:04:44,530 --> 00:04:50,250 of black people actually and I said who 82 00:04:47,530 --> 00:04:50,250 are these people 83 00:04:50,550 --> 00:04:59,310 and they were me and they were from our 84 00:04:54,090 --> 00:05:03,960 pews and I thought with that I cannot 85 00:04:59,310 --> 00:05:14,849 say no it was an opening of a door to 86 00:05:03,960 --> 00:05:16,949 come home that's why I said yes pretty 87 00:05:14,849 --> 00:05:20,430 good oh that was good good really good 88 00:05:16,949 --> 00:05:23,190 good job good job nice you know I think 89 00:05:20,430 --> 00:05:25,199 I should maybe be candid I'm looking at 90 00:05:23,190 --> 00:05:26,819 a friend of mine who's out in the crowd 91 00:05:25,199 --> 00:05:28,740 and serving beautifully on our Board of 92 00:05:26,819 --> 00:05:32,460 Trustees that I actually set a 93 00:05:28,740 --> 00:05:35,310 pre-emptive no or I tried to you know 94 00:05:32,460 --> 00:05:37,710 just kind of weighing in on um what I 95 00:05:35,310 --> 00:05:40,650 thought the board might do in this 96 00:05:37,710 --> 00:05:42,750 particular moment I had conversations 97 00:05:40,650 --> 00:05:45,650 about whether there should be people of 98 00:05:42,750 --> 00:05:48,270 color picking up this moment at all 99 00:05:45,650 --> 00:05:51,479 might we be better served with a white 100 00:05:48,270 --> 00:05:54,199 interim president might we take on the 101 00:05:51,479 --> 00:05:56,880 work differently if that were the case 102 00:05:54,199 --> 00:06:00,539 but I woke up to a very early morning 103 00:05:56,880 --> 00:06:02,880 email from our beloved moderator Jim Key 104 00:06:00,539 --> 00:06:07,469 just asking for a phone conversation but 105 00:06:02,880 --> 00:06:09,270 I knew and I called Jim and I asked him 106 00:06:07,469 --> 00:06:11,849 after he explained um 107 00:06:09,270 --> 00:06:12,360 why he was calling me asked him what the 108 00:06:11,849 --> 00:06:13,830 job was 109 00:06:12,360 --> 00:06:15,900 can you imagine how would you answer 110 00:06:13,830 --> 00:06:18,719 that question what this job was and he 111 00:06:15,900 --> 00:06:21,389 tried for about 15 minutes he tried and 112 00:06:18,719 --> 00:06:24,479 then he said Sofia I'm calling to ask 113 00:06:21,389 --> 00:06:26,009 you to hold the faith for 10 weeks and I 114 00:06:24,479 --> 00:06:29,250 need to know if there is a part of your 115 00:06:26,009 --> 00:06:32,330 calling as a religious leader that feels 116 00:06:29,250 --> 00:06:36,990 the need to answer yes to that question 117 00:06:32,330 --> 00:06:39,150 what do you say yeah you hold the faith 118 00:06:36,990 --> 00:06:41,099 and part of the conversation I had with 119 00:06:39,150 --> 00:06:43,889 some of our religious leaders this week 120 00:06:41,099 --> 00:06:47,909 was to say I don't think that's just my 121 00:06:43,889 --> 00:06:49,949 question we need you to hold the faith 122 00:06:47,909 --> 00:06:52,830 it doesn't exist without all of us and 123 00:06:49,949 --> 00:06:56,250 it's not a ten-week question right so 124 00:06:52,830 --> 00:06:58,009 will you continue to hold the faith in 125 00:06:56,250 --> 00:07:05,639 Jim's 126 00:06:58,009 --> 00:07:09,840 yeah what is there but yes so I had a I 127 00:07:05,639 --> 00:07:12,270 had a conversation with Jim key too and 128 00:07:09,840 --> 00:07:16,949 I had some reservations you know I had 129 00:07:12,270 --> 00:07:21,949 I've done this gig before and so I 130 00:07:16,949 --> 00:07:25,500 wanted to hear from him what he wanted 131 00:07:21,949 --> 00:07:30,509 what he wanted me and us to do what this 132 00:07:25,500 --> 00:07:32,940 an 11 week interim I mean really and he 133 00:07:30,509 --> 00:07:34,710 he struggled for a bit just I think he 134 00:07:32,940 --> 00:07:37,560 did with you Sofia he struggled for a 135 00:07:34,710 --> 00:07:42,180 bit and he what he finally said was was 136 00:07:37,560 --> 00:07:46,020 built we we need you and that's a pretty 137 00:07:42,180 --> 00:07:49,500 powerful thing to hear and then he said 138 00:07:46,020 --> 00:07:53,550 we need you to help set the table for 139 00:07:49,500 --> 00:07:55,680 the future of this faith we need you to 140 00:07:53,550 --> 00:07:58,349 help set the table for the future of 141 00:07:55,680 --> 00:08:00,659 this faith and I said that's powerful 142 00:07:58,349 --> 00:08:04,979 language Jim what does that mean to you 143 00:08:00,659 --> 00:08:07,320 and he said you know in part it's an 144 00:08:04,979 --> 00:08:11,190 acknowledgement that the table that we 145 00:08:07,320 --> 00:08:15,719 have set that we thought was perfect in 146 00:08:11,190 --> 00:08:20,940 every respect or at least nearly so has 147 00:08:15,719 --> 00:08:22,890 some big flaws that need mending and we 148 00:08:20,940 --> 00:08:25,409 need to find a different way to set some 149 00:08:22,890 --> 00:08:28,559 open chairs at that table yeah we need 150 00:08:25,409 --> 00:08:32,730 to find some some ways to bring the real 151 00:08:28,559 --> 00:08:34,440 experience of a people of color toward 152 00:08:32,730 --> 00:08:36,899 the center of the table rather than 153 00:08:34,440 --> 00:08:40,059 making them sit at the kiddie table now 154 00:08:36,899 --> 00:08:42,289 he didn't say that I'm making that up 155 00:08:40,059 --> 00:08:44,959 but that was what convinced me to say 156 00:08:42,289 --> 00:08:47,870 yes the opportunity that need the 157 00:08:44,959 --> 00:08:52,310 challenge to to set the table for the 158 00:08:47,870 --> 00:08:54,950 future of this faith in some of your 159 00:08:52,310 --> 00:08:57,019 updates and in the messages you've been 160 00:08:54,950 --> 00:09:00,310 giving us you've been talking about this 161 00:08:57,019 --> 00:09:04,670 time as a moment of opportunity 162 00:09:00,310 --> 00:09:12,709 what is that opportunity and is it all 163 00:09:04,670 --> 00:09:17,269 about black people so as I know a sickle 164 00:09:12,709 --> 00:09:19,130 first on this way via it has it was 165 00:09:17,269 --> 00:09:22,190 critical to me and I think it should be 166 00:09:19,130 --> 00:09:24,500 critical to you to understand this time 167 00:09:22,190 --> 00:09:27,410 in the life of Unitarian Universalism 168 00:09:24,500 --> 00:09:29,870 not just as a time where there are the 169 00:09:27,410 --> 00:09:32,930 series of problems that we need to deal 170 00:09:29,870 --> 00:09:36,110 with but as a time of opportunity where 171 00:09:32,930 --> 00:09:39,970 we can chart a different a more 172 00:09:36,110 --> 00:09:43,459 inclusive a more grounded course forward 173 00:09:39,970 --> 00:09:47,390 so we use the language of opportunity a 174 00:09:43,459 --> 00:09:51,320 lot but there are problems that need 175 00:09:47,390 --> 00:09:54,320 dealing with too and and part of the way 176 00:09:51,320 --> 00:09:59,209 I understand the opportunity is to shift 177 00:09:54,320 --> 00:10:00,680 our focus away from the person's because 178 00:09:59,209 --> 00:10:03,440 when you're dealing with individual 179 00:10:00,680 --> 00:10:07,070 persons it's easy to begin demonizing 180 00:10:03,440 --> 00:10:10,370 and critiquing and having all kinds of 181 00:10:07,070 --> 00:10:12,709 opinions about how she or he or they may 182 00:10:10,370 --> 00:10:16,300 have done their work to shift attention 183 00:10:12,709 --> 00:10:19,190 away from the person's to the patterns 184 00:10:16,300 --> 00:10:22,010 from the persons to the pattern so that 185 00:10:19,190 --> 00:10:26,209 we can begin inspecting how it is that 186 00:10:22,010 --> 00:10:28,610 we embody this fabulous faith and make 187 00:10:26,209 --> 00:10:31,390 some changes so that we can live into a 188 00:10:28,610 --> 00:10:31,390 hopeful future 189 00:10:33,139 --> 00:10:40,129 I think that the opportunity that I see 190 00:10:36,980 --> 00:10:46,329 is that we have such a history of pain 191 00:10:40,129 --> 00:10:51,619 and we have such a history of success 192 00:10:46,329 --> 00:10:56,029 and I think that perhaps we've lived in 193 00:10:51,619 --> 00:10:57,589 our pain and I'm sorry not saying we 194 00:10:56,029 --> 00:11:04,939 should ignore it I think we can grow 195 00:10:57,589 --> 00:11:05,929 from that and I think that we run from 196 00:11:04,939 --> 00:11:13,119 success 197 00:11:05,929 --> 00:11:17,989 I hear frequently about we have another 198 00:11:13,119 --> 00:11:22,100 opportunity or we have a second chance 199 00:11:17,989 --> 00:11:26,059 is what I hear no folks is the second 200 00:11:22,100 --> 00:11:30,679 third fourth fifth sixth seventh eighth 201 00:11:26,059 --> 00:11:34,910 ninth tenth chance the opportunity would 202 00:11:30,679 --> 00:11:38,899 be to do it different by looking at who 203 00:11:34,910 --> 00:11:44,980 owns the table that we're inviting 204 00:11:38,899 --> 00:11:49,069 people to we know how how do we come 205 00:11:44,980 --> 00:11:53,540 together this is the opportunity in our 206 00:11:49,069 --> 00:11:55,989 differences in our pain in and our 207 00:11:53,540 --> 00:11:55,989 healing 208 00:11:58,250 --> 00:12:07,370 is it for mostly black people I think 209 00:12:04,730 --> 00:12:11,290 that this is an opportunity to look at 210 00:12:07,370 --> 00:12:16,550 if we talk about dismantling a white 211 00:12:11,290 --> 00:12:19,630 supremacist culture white people 212 00:12:16,550 --> 00:12:19,630 wouldn't need to ask that question 213 00:12:20,290 --> 00:12:28,820 because it's about them also it's about 214 00:12:23,510 --> 00:12:34,270 all people what's the picture of the 215 00:12:28,820 --> 00:12:38,540 benefit of dismantling a white 216 00:12:34,270 --> 00:12:43,730 supremacist culture that isn't just 217 00:12:38,540 --> 00:12:46,850 about my black brothers and sisters and 218 00:12:43,730 --> 00:12:51,530 brothers and sisters of color that's 219 00:12:46,850 --> 00:12:54,440 about your white folks also that's an 220 00:12:51,530 --> 00:12:56,510 opportunity if you think about what 221 00:12:54,440 --> 00:13:03,200 would it look like to be able to let 222 00:12:56,510 --> 00:13:07,300 that go knowing that there are benefits 223 00:13:03,200 --> 00:13:07,300 and not letting it go for you 224 00:13:11,360 --> 00:13:16,459 I think we're in a moment of incredible 225 00:13:13,820 --> 00:13:19,700 opportunity and it comes from the coming 226 00:13:16,459 --> 00:13:21,890 together of so many groups of Unitarian 227 00:13:19,700 --> 00:13:25,610 Universalists responding in a different 228 00:13:21,890 --> 00:13:27,920 way I saw three beloved religious 229 00:13:25,610 --> 00:13:29,420 educator colleagues in a moment when 230 00:13:27,920 --> 00:13:31,850 religious educators were being talked 231 00:13:29,420 --> 00:13:33,980 about in the public square in a way that 232 00:13:31,850 --> 00:13:37,250 I would like to have never happen again 233 00:13:33,980 --> 00:13:40,459 and instead of responding with simple 234 00:13:37,250 --> 00:13:42,500 rage they provided us with tools for 235 00:13:40,459 --> 00:13:46,060 faith development which is what 236 00:13:42,500 --> 00:13:48,470 religious educators do and more than 700 237 00:13:46,060 --> 00:13:50,480 congregations participated in a white 238 00:13:48,470 --> 00:13:52,730 supremacy teach in that kind of 239 00:13:50,480 --> 00:13:54,980 grassroots response and profound 240 00:13:52,730 --> 00:13:56,959 leadership I'm looking at Christianity 241 00:13:54,980 --> 00:13:59,300 Veda I'm thinking of aja Hauser and 242 00:13:56,959 --> 00:14:01,420 Kenny Wiley and blue and everyone who 243 00:13:59,300 --> 00:14:04,130 supported them that kind of response 244 00:14:01,420 --> 00:14:05,390 feeds a moment of opportunity I'm 245 00:14:04,130 --> 00:14:08,810 thinking of a Board of Trustees that 246 00:14:05,390 --> 00:14:12,620 responded to a crisis with this kind of 247 00:14:08,810 --> 00:14:14,360 creativity right and resilience I'm 248 00:14:12,620 --> 00:14:18,370 thinking of a you you a staff that we 249 00:14:14,360 --> 00:14:23,180 came into twenty four and found loss and 250 00:14:18,370 --> 00:14:25,790 heartache steadfastness the termination 251 00:14:23,180 --> 00:14:29,680 faithfulness right we're seeing 252 00:14:25,790 --> 00:14:33,470 investment resourcing conversations 253 00:14:29,680 --> 00:14:36,050 leaning into a new way I also think it's 254 00:14:33,470 --> 00:14:37,399 important to remember as we respond the 255 00:14:36,050 --> 00:14:39,410 question about is this just about black 256 00:14:37,399 --> 00:14:40,699 folks I think we all know where that 257 00:14:39,410 --> 00:14:44,000 question comes from it comes from a 258 00:14:40,699 --> 00:14:45,740 worry a fear what I'm going to actually 259 00:14:44,000 --> 00:14:48,320 name a culture of scarcity in addition 260 00:14:45,740 --> 00:14:49,910 to all the racial injustice issues that 261 00:14:48,320 --> 00:14:52,459 we're talking about this fear that 262 00:14:49,910 --> 00:14:54,440 there's only so much energy to invest in 263 00:14:52,459 --> 00:14:58,279 the work of justice and what if not all 264 00:14:54,440 --> 00:15:00,440 of us will be whole at the supposed end 265 00:14:58,279 --> 00:15:02,240 of this work whatever that means I think 266 00:15:00,440 --> 00:15:04,670 instead we become more whole right as we 267 00:15:02,240 --> 00:15:08,269 lean into the full humanity of all 268 00:15:04,670 --> 00:15:11,240 people while remembering that anti black 269 00:15:08,269 --> 00:15:13,790 racism oppression against our indigenous 270 00:15:11,240 --> 00:15:16,130 family in particular right that this is 271 00:15:13,790 --> 00:15:17,680 the foundation of what we're talking 272 00:15:16,130 --> 00:15:19,640 about when we talk about white supremacy 273 00:15:17,680 --> 00:15:23,300 but that that 274 00:15:19,640 --> 00:15:26,660 and spreads to a culture of domination 275 00:15:23,300 --> 00:15:28,970 that impacts everyone right so the many 276 00:15:26,660 --> 00:15:32,720 ways that we are made small so that's 277 00:15:28,970 --> 00:15:34,880 some small group of people can advance 278 00:15:32,720 --> 00:15:36,860 above everybody else that is what I 279 00:15:34,880 --> 00:15:39,290 understand is white supremacy so is it 280 00:15:36,860 --> 00:15:42,110 all about black people no will it ever 281 00:15:39,290 --> 00:15:45,700 be addressed if we don't dig into the 282 00:15:42,110 --> 00:15:48,230 foundations of anti black racism and 283 00:15:45,700 --> 00:15:51,680 intentional attempts at genocide for our 284 00:15:48,230 --> 00:15:53,840 native kin never we have an 285 00:15:51,680 --> 00:15:56,270 intersectional approach and it centers 286 00:15:53,840 --> 00:16:04,520 on race and this is how we become more 287 00:15:56,270 --> 00:16:06,350 whole alright you have been talking 288 00:16:04,520 --> 00:16:09,620 about the future you've described it 289 00:16:06,350 --> 00:16:12,440 several of you have talked about it set 290 00:16:09,620 --> 00:16:16,160 in a table for the future what is the 291 00:16:12,440 --> 00:16:17,840 work of setting that table and what are 292 00:16:16,160 --> 00:16:22,510 the questions that you would like this 293 00:16:17,840 --> 00:16:22,510 GA to wrestle with as it goes forward 294 00:16:33,690 --> 00:16:45,630 I love singing coming to the Welcome 295 00:16:38,250 --> 00:16:51,929 Table and I bet many of you do but I 296 00:16:45,630 --> 00:17:00,270 white gays whatever we all going to come 297 00:16:51,929 --> 00:17:04,260 to the Welcome Table my thought goes to 298 00:17:00,270 --> 00:17:07,049 who owns the table that will come into 299 00:17:04,260 --> 00:17:10,530 and I want to know where am I going to 300 00:17:07,049 --> 00:17:13,770 set at the table because that's 301 00:17:10,530 --> 00:17:16,109 important some people get more than 302 00:17:13,770 --> 00:17:22,980 others depending on whether setting at 303 00:17:16,109 --> 00:17:27,349 the tape so I want to come the Welcome 304 00:17:22,980 --> 00:17:32,039 Table but I think we need to build a 305 00:17:27,349 --> 00:17:36,360 welcome table and this time to build it 306 00:17:32,039 --> 00:17:38,370 on a structure that is not a structure 307 00:17:36,360 --> 00:17:44,580 I'm going to repeat it over and over 308 00:17:38,370 --> 00:17:48,690 folks of white supremacy culture where 309 00:17:44,580 --> 00:17:50,700 all of us can be welcome we don't have 310 00:17:48,690 --> 00:17:52,890 to walk to the table we can roll to the 311 00:17:50,700 --> 00:17:56,190 table however somebody else can bring us 312 00:17:52,890 --> 00:17:59,159 to the table but that's the piece I get 313 00:17:56,190 --> 00:18:03,600 about the Welcome table we have to do 314 00:17:59,159 --> 00:18:07,500 more than sing it we have to restructure 315 00:18:03,600 --> 00:18:12,210 it and I'm going to go back to something 316 00:18:07,500 --> 00:18:18,690 I said earlier I think we know how to do 317 00:18:12,210 --> 00:18:23,760 it we really do we know how to do it so 318 00:18:18,690 --> 00:18:27,659 how do we risk risk restructuring the 319 00:18:23,760 --> 00:18:31,919 table and what do you bring to the table 320 00:18:27,659 --> 00:18:34,620 it's like a big potluck really who's 321 00:18:31,919 --> 00:18:37,730 preparing it who's cleaning up I'm sorry 322 00:18:34,620 --> 00:18:37,730 I deal in images 323 00:18:38,059 --> 00:18:48,740 do I have to clean the table up I don't 324 00:18:43,350 --> 00:18:51,510 want to clean the table okay not anymore 325 00:18:48,740 --> 00:18:58,279 and I'm going to Spencer ramble song 326 00:18:51,510 --> 00:19:03,390 girls I think I've answered the question 327 00:18:58,279 --> 00:19:06,210 I'm gonna leave it there I think I'd 328 00:19:03,390 --> 00:19:08,100 like to invite folks to spend some time 329 00:19:06,210 --> 00:19:11,490 thinking about what the heart of 330 00:19:08,100 --> 00:19:14,840 Unitarian Universalism really is not 331 00:19:11,490 --> 00:19:17,870 what it looks like not the old familiar 332 00:19:14,840 --> 00:19:20,970 comforting expression of it but what is 333 00:19:17,870 --> 00:19:24,630 Unitarian Universalism to you what are 334 00:19:20,970 --> 00:19:27,029 the central values not necessarily the 335 00:19:24,630 --> 00:19:29,340 messages of how they're expressed where 336 00:19:27,029 --> 00:19:31,820 is the faithfulness for you where 337 00:19:29,340 --> 00:19:34,740 spiritual practice for you where is 338 00:19:31,820 --> 00:19:37,320 interwoven community and relationality 339 00:19:34,740 --> 00:19:39,929 for you what are the things that can 340 00:19:37,320 --> 00:19:44,100 never be set down 341 00:19:39,929 --> 00:19:47,220 what's inherent to us I think we focus a 342 00:19:44,100 --> 00:19:49,320 lot on the words we use but the music 343 00:19:47,220 --> 00:19:52,679 sounds like the expressions of ourselves 344 00:19:49,320 --> 00:19:54,210 and while we have amazing people leading 345 00:19:52,679 --> 00:19:56,700 us in new ways actually in all of those 346 00:19:54,210 --> 00:20:00,090 areas too often we get hung up in the 347 00:19:56,700 --> 00:20:02,460 structures without realizing the ways 348 00:20:00,090 --> 00:20:05,120 that they impact other people as if the 349 00:20:02,460 --> 00:20:08,549 structures are the heart of our faith 350 00:20:05,120 --> 00:20:09,149 they're not there are thousands of us in 351 00:20:08,549 --> 00:20:13,679 New Orleans 352 00:20:09,149 --> 00:20:18,270 what is Unitarian Universalism at its 353 00:20:13,679 --> 00:20:21,090 core and how might that richness that 354 00:20:18,270 --> 00:20:23,610 call so many of us in community be 355 00:20:21,090 --> 00:20:26,700 carried forward in ways that are 356 00:20:23,610 --> 00:20:29,220 actually Universalist that actually make 357 00:20:26,700 --> 00:20:32,490 us more whole that feed our full 358 00:20:29,220 --> 00:20:34,590 humanity and might actually impact the 359 00:20:32,490 --> 00:20:38,820 world in new ways if you could only if 360 00:20:34,590 --> 00:20:41,039 the house was on fire some might say 361 00:20:38,820 --> 00:20:42,390 that it is I think it's on fire with 362 00:20:41,039 --> 00:20:44,370 opportunity but if the house was on fire 363 00:20:42,390 --> 00:20:47,850 what's the one thing you'd carry with 364 00:20:44,370 --> 00:20:48,590 you oh maybe that's my time find the 365 00:20:47,850 --> 00:20:51,650 heart of unit 366 00:20:48,590 --> 00:21:01,779 universalism find a way to share it with 367 00:20:51,650 --> 00:21:04,700 more than you I want to affirm what my 368 00:21:01,779 --> 00:21:07,159 co-president colleagues have said and 369 00:21:04,700 --> 00:21:09,200 then offered offer to more so it's one 370 00:21:07,159 --> 00:21:12,500 of them builds on what you were talking 371 00:21:09,200 --> 00:21:17,029 about Leon I hope that this this 372 00:21:12,500 --> 00:21:21,289 gathering can can take in can listen and 373 00:21:17,029 --> 00:21:25,750 take in the truth that Unitarian 374 00:21:21,289 --> 00:21:30,620 Universalism as it has been lived out 375 00:21:25,750 --> 00:21:34,610 has been a struggle for some of us to 376 00:21:30,620 --> 00:21:36,919 commit to not because of the problems of 377 00:21:34,610 --> 00:21:39,169 our theology not because of the promise 378 00:21:36,919 --> 00:21:41,059 that's offered by the Unitarian and the 379 00:21:39,169 --> 00:21:43,909 Universalist heritage it's not about 380 00:21:41,059 --> 00:21:47,539 it's not about the promise of our 381 00:21:43,909 --> 00:21:50,419 theology it's about the practice of our 382 00:21:47,539 --> 00:21:52,370 faith and because it's about the 383 00:21:50,419 --> 00:21:56,090 practice of our faith we actually have a 384 00:21:52,370 --> 00:21:59,779 chance to change we can remember the 385 00:21:56,090 --> 00:22:03,190 center of our faith remember that that 386 00:21:59,779 --> 00:22:08,419 there is nothing in universalism which 387 00:22:03,190 --> 00:22:10,669 insists on sameness and some of the high 388 00:22:08,419 --> 00:22:12,440 points of the history that I have lived 389 00:22:10,669 --> 00:22:15,110 through in this faith have dealt with 390 00:22:12,440 --> 00:22:17,630 honoring individual identities this was 391 00:22:15,110 --> 00:22:19,730 the marriage equality movement that 392 00:22:17,630 --> 00:22:24,110 energized our faith for a couple of 393 00:22:19,730 --> 00:22:29,539 decades we have the theological strength 394 00:22:24,110 --> 00:22:32,870 if we can remember that how we practices 395 00:22:29,539 --> 00:22:36,370 that faith makes a huge difference in 396 00:22:32,870 --> 00:22:36,370 terms of who can take part 397 00:22:37,800 --> 00:22:44,760 thank you all right what do you hope 398 00:22:41,830 --> 00:22:48,550 that people will take home from GA and 399 00:22:44,760 --> 00:22:51,610 what will they take back to the pews and 400 00:22:48,550 --> 00:22:56,220 to the pulpit after this as we move 401 00:22:51,610 --> 00:22:56,220 forward with this grand adventure 402 00:23:02,710 --> 00:23:10,550 I'll do some of the easy stuff we've 403 00:23:07,940 --> 00:23:15,410 been focusing a great deal of our 404 00:23:10,550 --> 00:23:17,750 attention on the UUA on the staff and 405 00:23:15,410 --> 00:23:20,960 providing pastoral support in the and 406 00:23:17,750 --> 00:23:24,410 the key clothes in leadership structures 407 00:23:20,960 --> 00:23:28,580 and that's good work and changes need to 408 00:23:24,410 --> 00:23:33,920 be made there but that's the easy part 409 00:23:28,580 --> 00:23:36,770 of the task the real task is what you 410 00:23:33,920 --> 00:23:39,590 all what we all do in our congregational 411 00:23:36,770 --> 00:23:41,840 settings so what does that mean well it 412 00:23:39,590 --> 00:23:43,790 means that you need to start asking some 413 00:23:41,840 --> 00:23:48,230 different questions in your 414 00:23:43,790 --> 00:23:51,380 congregations questions about who you 415 00:23:48,230 --> 00:23:53,570 hire and how you welcome and who you buy 416 00:23:51,380 --> 00:23:56,470 from and although you know these 417 00:23:53,570 --> 00:24:00,100 questions this is not beyond your scope 418 00:23:56,470 --> 00:24:02,260 right but also to move in our 419 00:24:00,100 --> 00:24:05,540 congregational systems and in our 420 00:24:02,260 --> 00:24:09,410 voluntary organizations to a place where 421 00:24:05,540 --> 00:24:12,920 it is always okay to ask how race and 422 00:24:09,410 --> 00:24:15,160 culture impact this conversation where 423 00:24:12,920 --> 00:24:19,330 that's the way we do things around here 424 00:24:15,160 --> 00:24:25,490 that's where we need to move back home I 425 00:24:19,330 --> 00:24:28,790 think carrying back to the pews some of 426 00:24:25,490 --> 00:24:36,730 this has happened what else 427 00:24:28,790 --> 00:24:36,730 teachings yes and so the pews are ready 428 00:24:36,880 --> 00:24:44,510 it's our leadership and carrying it back 429 00:24:40,010 --> 00:24:47,680 to the pews not in this Hall what we had 430 00:24:44,510 --> 00:24:52,910 800 congregations or so to really 431 00:24:47,680 --> 00:24:57,260 respond gosh you've never seen people so 432 00:24:52,910 --> 00:25:00,770 ready with things that some people 433 00:24:57,260 --> 00:25:06,910 thought they we shouldn't do this 434 00:25:00,770 --> 00:25:11,510 it would rock the boat taking it back 435 00:25:06,910 --> 00:25:16,620 naming it claiming it 436 00:25:11,510 --> 00:25:18,630 what the it is who we are who we aspire 437 00:25:16,620 --> 00:25:22,110 to be as a faith community name it and 438 00:25:18,630 --> 00:25:25,279 claim it but I think something that's 439 00:25:22,110 --> 00:25:31,320 really critical that we take back is 440 00:25:25,279 --> 00:25:34,350 that it's an inside job it's not the job 441 00:25:31,320 --> 00:25:38,010 of us as Unitarian Universalists just 442 00:25:34,350 --> 00:25:43,230 doing the outside work that this is the 443 00:25:38,010 --> 00:25:46,770 opportunity to do the inside job right 444 00:25:43,230 --> 00:25:50,159 in our little fellowships congregations 445 00:25:46,770 --> 00:25:53,700 there's lots of inside work to be done 446 00:25:50,159 --> 00:25:56,029 and it is rich when you do the inside 447 00:25:53,700 --> 00:25:56,029 work 448 00:25:59,990 --> 00:26:04,250 I think I want to build on that and say 449 00:26:01,940 --> 00:26:06,020 that the inside job is really important 450 00:26:04,250 --> 00:26:08,780 and I also want you all to know that we 451 00:26:06,020 --> 00:26:11,330 are hearing right from our family of 452 00:26:08,780 --> 00:26:13,429 liberal religious traditions that folks 453 00:26:11,330 --> 00:26:15,230 are watching they're paying attention to 454 00:26:13,429 --> 00:26:16,670 what we're doing right now I think 455 00:26:15,230 --> 00:26:19,910 there's some worry with all that very 456 00:26:16,670 --> 00:26:23,059 real pain and struggle in the world that 457 00:26:19,910 --> 00:26:25,580 were somehow pausing right to reflect on 458 00:26:23,059 --> 00:26:28,580 ourselves but actually we are hearing 459 00:26:25,580 --> 00:26:30,590 from leaders and I mean leaders of all 460 00:26:28,580 --> 00:26:33,070 kinds of other faith traditions to say 461 00:26:30,590 --> 00:26:36,620 you are taking on white supremacy 462 00:26:33,070 --> 00:26:39,410 head-on we're waiting to see what you 463 00:26:36,620 --> 00:26:40,910 come up with right we're looking for 464 00:26:39,410 --> 00:26:43,670 leadership and I think we've understood 465 00:26:40,910 --> 00:26:45,410 ourselves to be on this edge of doing 466 00:26:43,670 --> 00:26:48,050 the work of racial justice and it's time 467 00:26:45,410 --> 00:26:50,000 to be on that forward moving edge again 468 00:26:48,050 --> 00:26:52,070 and to not believe that this is just 469 00:26:50,000 --> 00:26:54,980 about our one congregation or our one 470 00:26:52,070 --> 00:26:57,290 staff group or a one classroom this is 471 00:26:54,980 --> 00:27:02,000 actually an invitation to our broader 472 00:26:57,290 --> 00:27:05,450 communities to do this long needed work 473 00:27:02,000 --> 00:27:08,360 of justice and redemption in this nation 474 00:27:05,450 --> 00:27:12,020 that has to be driven by our values and 475 00:27:08,360 --> 00:27:14,960 can their book thereby be supported by 476 00:27:12,020 --> 00:27:16,910 our faith I hope you will also take 477 00:27:14,960 --> 00:27:18,380 invitation home with you you're going to 478 00:27:16,910 --> 00:27:20,679 hear more about a commission on 479 00:27:18,380 --> 00:27:23,750 institutional change as we move forward 480 00:27:20,679 --> 00:27:26,630 these good folks are committing to be 481 00:27:23,750 --> 00:27:29,330 with us for two years to help guide 482 00:27:26,630 --> 00:27:31,520 vision to guide new resourcing to guide 483 00:27:29,330 --> 00:27:35,059 conversations they can't do that without 484 00:27:31,520 --> 00:27:37,520 you so I hope when you hear from us and 485 00:27:35,059 --> 00:27:40,460 from them but there are more and more 486 00:27:37,520 --> 00:27:41,990 invitations to how we do this work to 487 00:27:40,460 --> 00:27:44,390 remember that it allows us to do the 488 00:27:41,990 --> 00:27:46,580 work together I think sometimes it's 489 00:27:44,390 --> 00:27:49,580 incredibly stressful my one congregation 490 00:27:46,580 --> 00:27:50,510 has this percentage of this type of it's 491 00:27:49,580 --> 00:27:54,200 not about that 492 00:27:50,510 --> 00:27:55,910 we are a community of faith we're going 493 00:27:54,200 --> 00:28:00,890 to do this together so when you get an 494 00:27:55,910 --> 00:28:07,179 invitation say yes show up participate 495 00:28:00,890 --> 00:28:07,179 be faithful we believe in you 496 00:28:09,019 --> 00:28:13,200 thank you for answering those questions 497 00:28:10,889 --> 00:28:15,799 would you like to share some closing 498 00:28:13,200 --> 00:28:15,799 comments 499 00:28:25,050 --> 00:28:38,130 yesterday I had an opportunity to go in 500 00:28:30,750 --> 00:28:40,200 for just a minute 1/2 minute scene to 501 00:28:38,130 --> 00:28:46,530 say hello to a group of religious 502 00:28:40,200 --> 00:28:51,660 educators and I had a new piece to come 503 00:28:46,530 --> 00:28:57,480 to mind for me that connected would this 504 00:28:51,660 --> 00:29:01,559 I wanted to know what was i running from 505 00:28:57,480 --> 00:29:03,900 when I decided to be a Unitarian at that 506 00:29:01,559 --> 00:29:10,350 time it wasn't in teheran universals and 507 00:29:03,900 --> 00:29:11,250 then a Unitarian Universalist and what I 508 00:29:10,350 --> 00:29:17,720 had hope 509 00:29:11,250 --> 00:29:24,480 I was running to I served as a religious 510 00:29:17,720 --> 00:29:28,980 educator only meal in the basement of a 511 00:29:24,480 --> 00:29:33,090 church I won't name I stayed there for 512 00:29:28,980 --> 00:29:36,300 two years because there I could learn 513 00:29:33,090 --> 00:29:41,670 about Unitarian Universalism in a very 514 00:29:36,300 --> 00:29:43,340 uncontaminated way the minister invited 515 00:29:41,670 --> 00:29:46,290 me upstairs 516 00:29:43,340 --> 00:29:48,650 he said come up and be with the big 517 00:29:46,290 --> 00:29:48,650 people 518 00:29:49,100 --> 00:29:53,559 the big people were downstairs 519 00:29:58,190 --> 00:30:06,860 I hope that my little people at that 520 00:30:03,409 --> 00:30:09,590 time will grow to be unitarian 521 00:30:06,860 --> 00:30:15,169 universalist that they are but they 522 00:30:09,590 --> 00:30:17,830 don't come the pews often and what this 523 00:30:15,169 --> 00:30:21,980 has to do is that I realized that 524 00:30:17,830 --> 00:30:26,240 religious education is truly a life span 525 00:30:21,980 --> 00:30:31,580 piece when you take and you connect this 526 00:30:26,240 --> 00:30:34,250 to the work that we are doing today so 527 00:30:31,580 --> 00:30:41,629 we have a huge piece of educating both 528 00:30:34,250 --> 00:30:43,759 adults and children and people see that 529 00:30:41,629 --> 00:30:49,460 from the outside too and that's an 530 00:30:43,759 --> 00:30:52,639 invitation I'm glad I'm upstairs but 531 00:30:49,460 --> 00:30:57,379 let's not forget those cords it never 532 00:30:52,639 --> 00:31:02,350 struck me until yesterday when I was 533 00:30:57,379 --> 00:31:06,500 speaking to Loretta for a few minutes 534 00:31:02,350 --> 00:31:12,669 that's justice work that's an entire 535 00:31:06,500 --> 00:31:12,669 pression work that's oh what a goldmine 536 00:31:19,969 --> 00:31:30,349 I am very mindful that as we engage this 537 00:31:26,359 --> 00:31:33,979 work that looks inward there's a world 538 00:31:30,349 --> 00:31:35,419 out there where we're black people and 539 00:31:33,979 --> 00:31:35,899 people of color are getting killed every 540 00:31:35,419 --> 00:31:41,989 day 541 00:31:35,899 --> 00:31:47,629 yeah and it's a real it's a real tension 542 00:31:41,989 --> 00:31:52,219 for me as to whether to invest my all of 543 00:31:47,629 --> 00:31:53,690 my energy here or out there on its a 544 00:31:52,219 --> 00:31:58,009 real and I know its attention for many 545 00:31:53,690 --> 00:32:00,859 of you and the place that I've had to to 546 00:31:58,009 --> 00:32:04,099 find in my own and my own spirit is to 547 00:32:00,859 --> 00:32:08,299 understand is to understand that the 548 00:32:04,099 --> 00:32:12,409 work that it's one piece of work that 549 00:32:08,299 --> 00:32:14,599 it's not out there and in here it's the 550 00:32:12,409 --> 00:32:17,899 piece of work it's what we are called to 551 00:32:14,599 --> 00:32:21,799 do is what the spirit the spirit is 552 00:32:17,899 --> 00:32:24,849 asking us to respond to and so I found 553 00:32:21,799 --> 00:32:29,749 that space I hope that you can as well 554 00:32:24,849 --> 00:32:36,049 because I because for me given my 555 00:32:29,749 --> 00:32:40,339 commitments to this faith it could not 556 00:32:36,049 --> 00:32:45,440 be more important to me for this faith 557 00:32:40,339 --> 00:32:46,879 to redeem its history because a lot of 558 00:32:45,440 --> 00:32:54,440 its history that I have lived through 559 00:32:46,879 --> 00:32:57,799 and I had to leave at one point and I 560 00:32:54,440 --> 00:33:00,079 don't want to have to leave again and I 561 00:32:57,799 --> 00:33:03,259 don't want the people of color the 562 00:33:00,079 --> 00:33:07,009 indigenous folks that we're for I don't 563 00:33:03,259 --> 00:33:10,819 want anybody to have to leave because we 564 00:33:07,009 --> 00:33:11,929 refuse to do the work and so that's my 565 00:33:10,819 --> 00:33:18,830 commitment 566 00:33:11,929 --> 00:33:20,480 I think I also want to touch on history 567 00:33:18,830 --> 00:33:22,580 we keep we do keep talking about a 568 00:33:20,480 --> 00:33:25,340 moment of opportunity I just want to 569 00:33:22,580 --> 00:33:29,200 acknowledge that there are so many among 570 00:33:25,340 --> 00:33:33,049 us and so many more no longer among us 571 00:33:29,200 --> 00:33:36,169 who gave so much of themselves for 572 00:33:33,049 --> 00:33:39,200 decades to get us to a point where we 573 00:33:36,169 --> 00:33:42,980 even could respond to this moment as a 574 00:33:39,200 --> 00:33:44,629 moment of opportunity think about not 575 00:33:42,980 --> 00:33:47,679 just the history that needs redeeming 576 00:33:44,629 --> 00:33:52,159 with a history of leadership of 577 00:33:47,679 --> 00:33:54,109 sacrifice of investment we all have 578 00:33:52,159 --> 00:33:57,859 mentors who have invested in this work 579 00:33:54,109 --> 00:34:00,619 for racial justice for wholeness for 580 00:33:57,859 --> 00:34:03,260 completeness in our faith tradition and 581 00:34:00,619 --> 00:34:06,679 I want to remind you that we are those 582 00:34:03,260 --> 00:34:09,500 people of this moment I particularly 583 00:34:06,679 --> 00:34:11,119 want to lift my colleagues all the 584 00:34:09,500 --> 00:34:13,819 religious professionals who identify as 585 00:34:11,119 --> 00:34:15,739 people of color as indigenous folk lay 586 00:34:13,819 --> 00:34:18,980 leaders who identifies people of color 587 00:34:15,739 --> 00:34:21,559 and or indigenous we are not the only 588 00:34:18,980 --> 00:34:22,418 ones who need to be invested in this 589 00:34:21,559 --> 00:34:25,069 work 590 00:34:22,418 --> 00:34:27,649 right the work of leaning into 591 00:34:25,069 --> 00:34:31,309 solidarity is real and the work of 592 00:34:27,649 --> 00:34:33,079 leadership is real I want to remind you 593 00:34:31,309 --> 00:34:35,989 that even though you have three people 594 00:34:33,079 --> 00:34:39,559 of color who said yes to this moment and 595 00:34:35,989 --> 00:34:42,670 a moderator of color who said yes to 596 00:34:39,559 --> 00:34:46,280 this moment we are a predominantly white 597 00:34:42,670 --> 00:34:48,949 denomination if white leadership does 598 00:34:46,280 --> 00:34:51,020 not participate in this work we will 599 00:34:48,949 --> 00:34:54,969 continue to burn out our leaders of 600 00:34:51,020 --> 00:34:54,969 color and lose them 601 00:34:56,070 --> 00:35:06,320 I am here because of mentors who stayed 602 00:35:01,680 --> 00:35:09,860 long enough to mentor me some came back 603 00:35:06,320 --> 00:35:13,020 some will never come back 604 00:35:09,860 --> 00:35:17,180 let us leave pathways to the future that 605 00:35:13,020 --> 00:35:21,720 our whole Invitational robust 606 00:35:17,180 --> 00:35:24,930 risk-taking faithful and present and may 607 00:35:21,720 --> 00:35:32,220 we remember those who gave that we might 608 00:35:24,930 --> 00:35:35,190 come to this day thank you for your 609 00:35:32,220 --> 00:35:38,210 wisdom your thoughtfulness and your time 610 00:35:35,190 --> 00:35:41,040 and your hearts over these last 11 weeks 611 00:35:38,210 --> 00:35:42,040 would you please join me in thanking 612 00:35:41,040 --> 00:35:51,920 them for this 613 00:35:42,040 --> 00:35:51,920 [Applause]