There is an event this Saturday called “Healing4Charlottesville.” It’s being organized by several area clergy, and is intended to be a time for prayerful, humble recognition of the need for healing in our community. Organizers say, “This is not a march against anything or anyone. It is us taking responsibility before God for our city.” And they add, “No signs are permitted.”
The Senior Staff have been asked, individually and collectively, for our feelings about this effort. While we acknowledge that it may certainly be meaningful for some participants, we do not see it as something in which we, as a congregation, need to participate. This is not because of its clearly theistic – and specifically Christian – orientation. Rather, we question how the time and energy spent organizing and coordinating something like this will have any real impact on the real need in our community for truth-telling (and hearing) about what is actually hurt and broken, what truly needs healing, and how all of us – truly all of us together – can do that work of healing in honest and accountable ways. We think that the potential for this to be a “feel good” opportunity that obscures the real hard, discomforting, and painful work that is needed is great.
As Unitarian Universalists, no one (or three) voices speak for us all, and anyone who feels moved to participate should do so. Yet to be in covenant with one another and our commitment to the mutual liberation of all, we should do so with a conscious awareness of the potential pitfalls, and intentional about what work needs to be done.