Social Justice Candle - August 24, 2014

Social Justice Candle,  August 24 2014

  Near the end of last week’s Social Justice Candle Joe Pouroy read these words written by columnist Leonard Pitts about the events in Ferguson:

 "Silence imposed on pain cannot indefinitely endure. People who are hurting will always, eventually make themselves heard. Even if they must scream to do so."

 And then what? What happens after the screams? What was the Unitarian Universalist response to the screams of injustice which rose from Ferguson?

The UU response included UU ministers and other UUs Standing on the Side of Love, standing in solidarity, arms locked, shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ferguson. One of the UU ministers standing in solidarity last week, Rev. Julie Taylor, wrote:

 “I was part of a group of clergy who have been physically creating barriers with our bodies between protestors and police lines, and had my first experience of tear gas.”

Then she closed with these words:

 "It would sure be great to see a river of Standing on the Side of Love shirts out here…the embodiment of love is desperately needed."

The screams of people in pain went out and those of the UU faith, those who are living by standing on the side of love responded. On Day Thirteen after the senseless death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. UUA President Rev. Peter Morales, said these words:

 “Ferguson is not about Ferguson. It is about the systematic dehumanizing of people all over America. As Unitarian Universalists, we have faith that it need not be this way. We can create a world that is accepting, fair, loving, and diverse.”

 During the thirteen days immediately following the shooting, UUs joined many thousands of other people, both on the ground in Missouri and throughout the country, in calling for justice, peace, and love. Bi-State UU Ministers, the St. Louis area UU ministers’ association, gathered in Ferguson to deliver supplies and offer pastoral care to residents of the community, working with the group Praying With Our Feet. UUs have been present at vigils, marches, community forums, worship services, clean-up efforts, and an interfaith march.

 For resources and suggestions for getting engaged or deepening engagement, check out the Ferguson and Beyond: Next Steps to Justice resource page which can be found at Standing on the Side of Love or by following a link which can be found on our UUFD website.

 As UUs may we continue to find ways to put our faith in humanity in action? May we continue to struggle to keep the arch of civilization bending toward justice for now and future generations. Let’s do all we can to make sure the screams of those in pain in Ferguson and all the other Ferguson’s of the world, not be screams in vain, but be screams to rally a sea swell of love. 

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