#ThankUUCW / Update on Racism and White Privilege Workshops


by Rev. Aaron Payson

Sunday, March 3rd marks the beginning of the FY2020 Stewardship Campaign at UUCW.   The theme of this year’s campaign #ThankUUCW invites us to begin this annual season of making a financial pledge to the congregation, not with our pledge forms and checkbooks.  Instead, the Stewardship Team is inviting members and friends to consider what we are thankful for here at UUCW.  So let me begin:

#ThankUUCW for an amazing congregation of committed, compassionate and courageous people working together to be and become ever more a Beloved Community!

#ThankUUCW for a stellar Religious Exploration Program which continues to inspire our children and youth to become caring, creative and inspired people!

#ThankUUCW for feeding our friends and neighbors who continue to face food insecurity and hunger through our Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry and SNAP Advocacy Team!

#ThankUUCW for serving and advocating for those who face homelessness through our Interfaith Hospitality Team and Emergency Shelter efforts!

#ThankUUCW for continuing to support new arrivals in our community through our Refugee Ministry Team!

#ThankUUCW for opportunities to gather for socializing, support and encouragement through our Small Group Ministry, Book Groups, Lunch with the Minister, Rainbow Lunch Group, Meditation Group, Men’s Group, Women’s Run Away Weekend, Ferry Beach Weekend and a host of Community Groups that meet regularly in our building!

#ThankUUCW for allying with Community Groups that share our vision of Love, Peace and Justice in our world including Worcester Interfaith, LGBT Asylum Task Force, Greendale Ecumenical Group, 12 Step Support Groups, ONE Worcester, Greater Worcester Humanists and Jane Fund of Central MA!

#ThankUUCW for unsung heroes!  For all of those who work to make UUCW a great place to be.  A stellar Staff, lay leaders a plenty, those who regularly volunteer and those who work behind the scenes!

#ThankUUCW for bringing to life, vibrant, transforming and inspiring liberal religion!  For, as my colleague Scott Alexander reminds us. . .

In a world with so much hatred and violence,
We need a religion that proclaims the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

In a world with so much brutality and fear,
We need a religion that seeks justice, equity, and compassion in human relations .

In a world with so many persons abused and neglected,
We need a religion that calls us to accept one another and encourage one another to spiritual growth.

In a world with so much dogmatism and falsehood,
We need a religion that challenges us to a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

In a world with so much tyranny and oppression,
We need a religion that affirms the right and conscience and the use of the democratic process.

In a world with so much inequity and strife,
We need a religion that strives toward the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.

In a world with so much environmental degradation,
We need a religion that advocates respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

In a world with so much uncertainty and despair,
We need a religion that teaches our hearts to hope, and our hands to care.

Beloved!  Join the Stewardship Team and me on this Sunday as we explore what we are thankful for and look toward another vibrant year at UUCW.  As a part of the service we will be inviting those who wish to share what they’re #ThankUUCW for as we consider our contributions in the coming year.


Standing on the Side of Love logo

Update on Racism and White Privilege Workshops

As you may know, Side with Love Task Force for Social Justice is sponsoring Ken Wagner’s eight part series on Racism and White Supremacy on Sundays after coffee hour.  We are thrilled to report that we have had an average of 41 people for each of the three sessions so far.  Half of these people are from our church, and the other half is from the community at large. We have had such a wonderful turnout that we’ve had to abandon using the Lounge due to fire code regulations, and will be using Fellowship Hall for the next five sessions.  We apologize for having to roust coffee drinkers at 11:50 am to prepare Fellowship Hall for the workshop at noon. Thank you for your understanding.

Ken has proven to be a skillful and sensitive facilitator as he guides us through the historical and cultural legacy of race relations in this country.  We gather in large and small groups to examine our expanding understandings of our perspectives of white privilege as we look unflinchingly at our upbringing, community and current relationship to white privilege. Not for the faint of heart! Ken provides excellent and insightful readings in between sessions to stimulate our heart and brain for the following workshop.

While most of the sessions build upon each other for clarity and continuity, this Sunday, March 3rd, is an exception, and we invite ALL to attend, even if you have not come to the other sessions. It is a movie and discussion, Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible. ” It features the experience of white women and men who have worked to gain insight into what it means to challenge notions of racism and white supremacy in the U.S. They reveal what is often required to expose and move beyond the denial, defensiveness, guilt, fear and shame that helps keep systemic racism in place. They model some of the skills and awareness needed to make effective commitments toward building racial equality and justice”. We hope you will attend this movie.

We are happy that we have so many people at these workshops which give UUCW a higher profile in the community as a place working for social justice.

Hope to see you at this movie at noon on March 3rd!

Joan McGinn, Mara Pentlarge, Susan Crossley and Steve Ober

Steering Committee, Racism and White Privilege series