Did anybody notice? I think we all kind of missed something yesterday. I’m sure they won’t care, but we might owe a belated greeting of some kind. I’m sure they’ll understand, right?
See, some other things happened yesterday so we just kind of missed it. It makes sense really. After all, Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, the President of the Unitarian Universalist Association was arrested on Monday while participating in the 40 Days of Action meant to bring attention to the Poor People’s Campaign around the nation. And the piece that she published on Vice about why she did what she did was getting a lot of press yesterday. You can read about it here. So it makes sense that we missed it.
Also, yesterday, our church hosted individuals from around Honolulu, people who hold in common some of the most basic beliefs about dignity, justice, and fair treatment for all, to plan for actions we will take in the Honolulu area to support the Poor People’s Campaign. We had a lively and heartfelt discussion about what it means to take part in actions that will support and bring awareness to the emergencies of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism in our society. You can stay in touch with the growing work of the Poor People’s Campaign Hawai’i right here. And with all this buzz and excitement, it really does make sense that we missed it.
Oh, and if you’d stayed around after the meeting here at the church, you would have seen a few things. In one corner, a group was discussing implementation of the 8th Principle here at the church in real tangible ways. In another corner, a group was discussing establishing a local bail relief program among groups here in Honolulu and talking about resources available to learn more about that. And in yet another corner, the amazing people who devote so much time to the beauty of our church, were rushing into the sanctuary after their meeting to try to catch some of the Poor People’s Campaign Hawai’i planning meeting, wishing that they’d been able to attend. See, there was a lot going on here yesterday. So really, missing what came and went yesterday can be forgiven. It’s okay.
Because maybe that is really the point. Maybe the people who did what they did fifty-seven years ago didn’t want there to be parades or fanfare about what happened. Maybe when the communities joined one another they imagined something greater than self-congratulations. Maybe the hope of community, of a place where in the course of a few hours people from a faith community would welcome and work together with people from the wider community to address the most pressing emergencies for the most vulnerable in a society in a multitude of creative and justice-seeking ways is exactly what they had in mind.
Yes, I think that is how the birthday of the Unitarian Universalist Association, May 15, 1961, should be celebrated. Happy Belated Birthday, UUA! Sorry we missed it. We were busy…really, really busy.
And may it ever be so,
Rev. T. J.