So, where do I begin?

I’ve had increasing numbers of people at UUCA ask recently about how they might find a way into social justice work. Justice work has always been a priority for us as a congregation, but at a time when the nation feels so polarized and we’re watching the current administration repudiate long-standing principles and commitments across the board, many are feeling an increasing sense of urgency to act.

As a congregation we offer many opportunities for you to participate, ranging from our congregation’s Sanctuary program in support of immigrant justice to Black Lives Matter, environmental justice, gun control, voting rights and more. You can find congregational leaders in all of these areas in our Weekly eNews and on bulletin boards, and if none of those work, ask any staff member for help.

But I also know that it’s easy to be daunted by all of this. If you’re just finding your way into this, let me urge you to take the time to reflect on what kind of work calls to you and what you feel you can do. It is so rewarding to be working in community for the values that stir your heart. But it can be challenging to take the first step.

With that in mind, let me share with you this poem that Associate Minister Rev. Lisa Bovee-Kemper shared with our staff meeting this week:

Start Close In  by David Whyte

Start close in,
Don’t take the second step
Or the third,
Start with the first
Close in,
The step you don’t want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own
give up on other
people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something,

To find
another’s voice
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
The step you don’t want to take.

Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister