REV. GAIL LINDSAY MARRINER
UU Santa Fe Minister
My family is in the midst of planning a trip for this month. Over the kid’s spring break we will be headed to the east coast for a long overdue visit to Nathaniel’s parents and a much anticipated side trip to Washington D.C. Guests in the pulpit are all lined up, we have our airline reservations and car rental and pet care arrangements made. We still need to pack, sort out gifts for relatives and figure out what to see in D.C. but we are on schedule. I don’t travel very often so I forget out how much preparation it takes.
Our Soul Matter’s theme this month is Journey, so in a way the timing of this family trip feels appropriate. Maybe the planning, driving, flying, visiting, flying, exploring and returning will help me stay grounded in the details of real journeys as we explore some more abstract kinds of journeys on Sunday mornings! Right now we are on track to reflect on the aging process as a journey, the labyrinth as a reminder that most journeys aren’t straight lines, and the possibility that many journeys are ends in themselves and arriving at some goal is really not the point.
I know that many of you are enthusiastic and experienced travelers and so as we embark on this month’s “Journey” theme I invite you to recall your travels: where have you been? Why did you go where you went? How did you travel? Who were your companions? What surprised you along the way? What important things did you learn? What did you learn from traveling that has informed how you live your life? At least one of this month’s services will include time for conversation on these questions–I look forward to hearing what you have to share!
REV. LEONA STUCKY
Reverend Stucky is a UU Santa Fe affilliate minister and author of The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God. She’s been a psychotherapist for more than 35 years, a Diplomate in AAPC, and a UU community minister. She can be contacted at LeonaStucky.com.
Swarming with young people, the streets took on colors of anger and despair, with sounds and signs clamoring for an end to the Vietnam war, and an end to the draft. Young men and women demanded a change to the law that armed young men and trapped them into terror that would haunt many of them for the rest of their lives.
As a baby boomer, these scenes added meaning to my college days. Non-violence was one of my ideals. Appalled that our country would trap young men into violent and terrorizing adventures, I pounded the streets with my activist friends, never once wondering why no one was pounding the streets for me.
With my child in tow, I tried to escape the violence and terror that trapped me. The kind where you have already been beaten many times, where the killer knows your name, your family, your location, your children, your vulnerabilities, your desires, your habits and schedules.
Ashamed to be trapped, I didn’t talk to college kids about it. I figured I was somehow at fault. Anyone whose husband would kill them, was considered a part of the problem. I didn’t understand then that my brushes with injury and death would haunt me for the rest of my life. Nor did I have a clue that thousands upon thousands of women and children lived in fear and that too many would be killed by their abuser. There were no safe houses and few voices decrying the violence against women - the unnoticed and little published war on women, at home under our own noses. Women were left to cope with formidable odds without assistance, while they were accused and shamed.
During our last two wars, Afghanistan and Iraq, almost twice as many US women died from intimate partner violence as US troops died in these wars. I’ve written a memoir about my years of terror, The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God. Though the book is riveting, it will not stop others from facing similar tragedies. So, I’ve taken the next step by joining a small, not for profit film company, Healing Voices – Personal Stories, that educates people about domestic violence using their own award-winning short documentaries.
Stopping this unnoticed and unheralded killing of women is a job for all of us. Healing Voices – Personal Stories has an action plan. We can change the fate of women and children who are trapped. Your voice and your boots on the ground are necessary.
A National Day of Action Against Domestic Violence
Today we are forming teams all around the country to plan a local event for the National Day of Action Against Domestic Violence, scheduled for October 5, 2019. Communities are asked to use their own creative ideas to organize an event about domestic violence that brings together local talent and community organizations.
Often theater groups, art commissions, local actors’ guilds, story tellers, women’s studies classes, peace groups, social justice groups, religious groups, and local women’s shelter programs, journalists, businesses, and many other groups and individuals will join this effort. When you form a team, you are the decision makers for the event. We urge you to go to https://dvdayofaction.org. You can sign up as people interested in forming a team, and we will assist you.
As part of the event we are asking for a staged “Die In” as a visual demonstration of the shocking number of women’s deaths due to domestic violence in the United States. All women participants, who are able, will gently fall to the ground and assume a posture reflecting death. Other participants, including men, can make a protective circle around them. Silence will then be observed for two minutes. The whole event, especially the “Die In”, should be filmed, possibly by film students, people with cell phones, and maybe by film professionals.
These films will be collected by Healing Voices – Personal Stories, and this film company will then seek out wide channels of distribution for the documentary to make a long-lasting point that we must stop the unseen war of intimate partner violence. The films that we have already made for domestic violence education and awareness can be viewed and used, free of charge, at www.hv-ps.org.
Committee for Day of Action Against Domestic Violence
Steven serves UU Santa Fe as Consulting Lifespan Learning Director
Showing up is 80 percent of life.—Woody Allen
Some days we are better off just staying in bed. I get that. I’ve done that! Sometimes disconnecting and hiding, hopefully to center and regroup, is the very best thing that one can do for self-care. That’s why retreats can be such a refreshing practice. But then there’s. . .
Then there’s, well, the other 80%—showing up for the important stuff, whether from duty, aspiration, or inclination. I have served a number of congregations and I can say with some authority that UU Santa Fe shows up pretty well for the important stuff—town halls, congregational meetings, social action, fun(d) raisers, committee work. We can demonstrate levels of engagement that other of our brother and sister churches can only aspire to. But then there’s. . .
Then there are times when we don’t. It’s a tricky thing, organizing the things that make this a Special Place. That supports you in ways you will not get from any other community or organization in your life. Things that you will find only here. Consequential things. Matters of life and death. Our minister, our leadership, myself are always trying to create the experiences here that add meaning to your life. Sometimes we get it just right. Sometimes we don’t. But then there’s. . .
Then there are times we get it just right and still only a meager few show up. That can only happen so many times before we get the message to stop offering it. Whatever its merit. My wife sings in choirs. Some of the more casual choirs have people who don’t come to rehearsal regularly because “they already know their music.” But what if the real reason for showing up was not what you could get from it, but rather that your presence was vital so that someone who was struggling could benefit from your presence?
My point is this: there are many times here when your presence is vital, not for your own self, but because of your beneficial effect on someone else. You might be the very thing they need just when they need it. As Parker Palmer writes: I no longer ask, “What do I want to let go of, and what do I want to hang on to?” Instead, I ask, “What do I want to let go of, and what do I want to give myself to?” I put it this way, “What shall you set your heart to?
What shall you set your heart to here? This place needs your love and commitment. I think it is worthy of both. And I truly believe someone else will think so too. . .when you just...show...up.
See you in church.