What Relationship Asks
Friends, we are coming to a very important time at our church. As many of you know, among some of the most important work this church does happens at the monthly meeting of A.D.O.R.E., a Dialog on Race and Ethnicity. And at this month’s meeting on December 9th, your facilitators will lead a discussion of the New York Times best seller, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.
Dr. DiAngelo’s book is important in a number of ways. It is hailed as a beautiful book that succeeds where many other books that seek to address racism fail. The deep understanding and deep humor Dr. DiAngelo offers are both wonderful, and the text of the book could be taken just as it is. But this book actually represents more to Unitarian Universalists than only what’s in its pages.
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) published this book. Beacon Press, wholly owned by the UUA, makes its mission to give voice to messages that other publishers might be afraid to bring to the public. But this mission, time and time again, has led to publishing some of the profoundly prophetic voices of past generations. The opportunity to read a best seller and also support a cutting-edge publishing house owned by the UUA is reason enough to get into this book. But there are other reasons. In fact, there are likely as many reasons to read this book as there are paragraphs in it. But the most important reason for each of us to read this book, even if we can’t make the December 9th presentation, is that other members of our church have asked us to read it.
There are times that we feel comfortable taking advice from doctors, from professors, or from other professionals about their chosen fields. This book is about relationships. And we each have chosen to be in relationship with one another, so it is our chosen field as well. We are all part of a community built from and upon interwoven, intersecting, and most importantly, interdependent relationships. So when someone with whom we are in relationship strongly urges us to read a book, if we can do it, it makes sense to try. It’s not a long book, and the long-term rewards it offers vastly outpace the short time it will take to read it.
When else can you support a UU institution, add to the growing list of women who grace the New York Times best-sellers list, equip yourself with life-altering skills and perspectives, and say yes to a request from a friend? So even before you thank your friends for the recommendation, let me be the first to say…”You’re welcome.”
Many blessings to you all,
Rev. T. J.