UU author/historian Mark Morrison- Reed comes to UUCR on Stenton Avenue and USG on Lincoln Drive in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia
RSVP for UUCR events by Friday, April 10th — email Desi at firstname.lastname@example.org
FRIDAY, APRIL 17TH –at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration in Mt. Airy 6900 Stenton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19150
7:00pm – 9:00 Book Reading – Sanctuary
The Selma Awakening: How the Civil Rights Tested and Changed Unitarian Universalism
SATURDAY, APRIL 18TH — UUCR on Stenton Avenue
10:00am – 12:00pm
Morning workshop session – Fellowship Hall
We Are What We Sing: Diversity in UU
Singing our way through UU hymns from 1861 to today, we will make some interesting and telling discoveries about why we are who we are.
How Open the Door?
We will watch this DVD which surveys the history of race relations from the Abolitionists to Black Power. Following the DVD, we will explore Restoration’s history of becoming a multicultural congregation.
12:00 noon – 1:00pm Catered luncheon: $10.00
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Afternoon Workshop Session-Fellowship Hall
Eight Keys to Attracting People of Color to UU
This DVD explores Davies Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church’s effort to become diverse. After the DVD, we will explore what Davies and other congregations, like Restoration, have in common with one another.
The Nature of Racism
We will conclude our workshop with an examination of the nature of racism: how and why it impacts our efforts.
JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH CONCERT WITH
MONETTE SUDLER AND LADIES NIGHT OUT
7:00- 9:00 Jazz Concert in the Sanctuary
(doors open at 6:30pm)
Monnette Sudler – guitar & vocals
NorikoKamo – organ
Luciana Padmore – drums and Lynn Riley – saxophones and flute http://www.reverbnation.com/ monettesudlersladiesofjazz
Sunday morning – April 19th – Mark Morrison-Reed will be giving the early sermon at 9:15 at the Unitarian Society of Germantown 6511 Lincoln Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19119
Sunday morning – April 19th – Mark Morrison-Reed will be presenting the sermon at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration on Stenton Avenue:
“Dragged Kicking and Screaming into Heaven” Early in the 19th century Universalism swept across our young nation finding a popularity it never again achieved. It proclaimed a truly radical message. Is it time for us to return to the message that God’s love brooks no resistance? Universalism re-articulated for the 21st century.
12:15pm — UUCR on Stenton Avenue
Potluck Lunch/Book Signing – Fellowship Hall
Note: The following is a reflection that I gave at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration on Stenton Avenue in Philadelphia where I am a lay minister. Unitarian Universalism is a faith that encompasses all religious/spiritual backgrounds (including atheism, agnosticism and Buddhism) in a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning”.
In 1965, when events that were part of the voting rights struggle unfolded in Selma, I was six years old. I must have seen parts of it on television. I don’t remember. But I do remember that I was influenced by the Civil Rights movement.
This weekend is the 50th anniversary of the historic march on Selma. Today is also International Women’s Day, a global day of equality that was started in 1908 by the Socialist Party of America to demand better working conditions for female garment workers.
When I came out, I read a book on the nature of oppression and how it is all related and multilayered. I see now, in retrospect, that the book just reaffirmed the experiences of my life.
The first in my family to graduate from college, I was born to a feminist mother when she and my father where in their forties. In my book Tea Leaves, a memoir of mothers and daughters (Bella Books, 2012), I relate a conversation that I had with my mother when she was dying.
“I’d feel better about this if you were fifty. I thought if I waited, I could bring you into a better world. I really thought things would be better and in some ways they were. No one talked about racial equality twenty years before you were born, there was no environmental movement.”
“And no women’s movement.” I met my mother’s unwavering gaze.
My mother was an excellent story teller. One of the stories that she told me was about Vera, a black lesbian she met in her licensed practical nurse training program. Vera was her own person, and she made quite an impression on my mother.
In telling me about Vera, my mother was telling me about her past and also about my future.
The Civil Rights movement and the movement for gay and lesbian rights were and are, in many ways, very different. There was some homophobia in the Civil Rights movement and racism in the gay rights movement — despite considerable overlap. For one thing, we have some common enemies as seen in the ongoing struggle over same sex marriage in Alabama.
I was heartened by the response of the young people — of all races — who responded to the hate speech of the protestors by yelling, “We love you.”
It is no coincidence that the country’s first African American President was also our first President to embrace same sex marriage. In President Obama’s last State of The Union address, I was proud to see the standing ovation at the President’s mention of same-sex marriage and that it was led by Representative John Lewis, the important Civil Rights activist. He was in the front of the march from Selma to Montgomery and was among those brutally beaten by the police on what became known as Bloody Sunday.
The African American author, retired UU minister, and noted UU historian, Mark D. Morrison-Reed is coming to Restoration the weekend of April 17th. In his book The Selma Awakening, How the Civil Rights Movement Tested and Changed Unitarian Universalism, (2014, Skinner House Books), Morrison-Reed examines the UU faith and finds it lacking in its concerns with Civil Rights before the events of the freedom march at Selma catalyzed it.
As a newish Unitarian, it was disheartening for me to read that the Unitarian Universalist faith, except for pockets of true progressiveness, was not that evolved even in the early days of the Civil Rights movement. Yet, it was interesting to read how the emphasis on racial equality changed, especially after Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., called for people of faith to join the freedom march.
I am currently involved in Restoration’s Beloved Conversations which provides the space for us to examine our experiences of race and ethnicity. In reflecting on what Selma meant to me personally, I realized that I grew up in an era that taught me that injustice is intolerable.
I came out in my early twenties and fell in love with my partner Barbara, who first met many of you at the local Post Office. She retired several years ago. Barbara is modest, but she is also a wonderful drummer and early on in our relationship she was part of a racially diverse group of women drummers and that was an important part of our lives. This undoubtedly helped to shaped my experience along the way. But the underlying fact is that I am more comfortable with diversity than sameness.
The Civil Rights movement gave birth to the women’s movement and the gay liberation movement. It also opened the door for many others to be fully human. There is a saying that we are more alike than we are different. There is still much more work to be done for racial equality. And as we work for justice, it’s important to realize that we are working to make a better world for all of our relations and for ourselves, too.