A Pastoral Note from Rev. Alison

Coming Together Again

It has taken me a several days to process the election results, emotionally and intellectually, and I am not finished. Some of my reflections will be shared in Sunday’s worship services (Nov. 13), but since not everyone will attend on Sunday I wanted to share a few thoughts here.

I want to acknowledge that many Unitarian Universalists, including many in UUFA, are grieving. We’re grieving the election of a President who championed many ideas that seem in opposition to UU principles of love, respect, justice, and more. Whether you include yourself among those grieving or not, we must recognize many are deeply troubled. If you are grieving, know I stand with you.

I want to remind us that we are a diverse denomination, and UUFA is no exception. We did not all vote for the same Presidential candidate so we must take care in how we speak or refer to those who might have voted differently, even as we each express our own feelings. There is enough polarization in the world without our adding more. I stand with all at UUFA, whatever party you belong to.

I believe that no matter who was to become President-elect, many in our nation would be in shock. Instead of anti-Trump protests, there would be anti-Clinton protests. Whatever the party, the ‘loser’ would be feeling grief, anger, or despair. But, in truth, I feel we’re all a bit the loser because we are so extremely polarized. We have lost the ability to meet on common ground or solve problems together. And that is something we must fix together, whether at UUFA or elsewhere. We are one, not ‘us’ and ‘them’.

It is my hope and prayer that we will work together to heal wounds and move forward. I believe we hold a core set of beliefs and values that drives us, but isolation from those who differ has allowed us to forget how to work together, listen to each other, and become better by being together. In the days ahead, let us listen well to each other as we embody our 1st and 7th Principles as best we can. Let us affirm the worth and dignity of all individuals, no matter what political party we identify with, knowing we are all connected and what we do or say to each other matters. Let love be our guide in the days ahead.

In faith, Rev. Alison Eskildsen