Social Justice

Fair Is Not Always Equal – August 16, 2020

Before I begin my homily, I invite you to participate in an art activity. Today’s story,It’s Okay to be Different, is appealing for many reasons, one of which is Todd Parr’s bold and accessible art style. The beauty of the illustrations lie in their simplicity.  The differences of the characters are presented simply and boldly to be celebrated.  For this activity, if you were to add a page to the story about yourself, what would it say? What would the illustration look like? Why? I invite you...

Why Bother? – July 12, 2020

Our opening words today are a paraphrase and extension of words from a speech by John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Some look at things as they are, and ask “Why? Others see things as they could be, and ask “Why not?” Still others take just one look/see, and say “Why bother?” When I was approached about doing a summer service, my partner and I had recently started volunteering with a local Sanctuary Church. I'd like to share a few thoughts from that experience: In the orientation, we were asked not to...

In the Interim – June 2020

As I write, peaceful protests in defense of black lives continue to grow in cities and towns in all 50 states. I think this is good news. And I pray for those who continue to put their bodies on the line for justice. Violence committed against protesters by police, egregious and unnecessary, is being recorded and reported. I think this is good news. And I pray for the victims of that violence. I pray that those who perpetrate it will be held accountable for it. And I pray that their hardened...

“Reflections on White Rage, White Grief, and White Fragility” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – January 19, 2020

A Reflection on White Rage We began this morning with the dream. And yet we hardly need reminding, that the ideal which we seek lies in stark contrast to the reality in which we live. Have we made progress in this country in terms of race? Yes, but it has not been straight forward. Every inch of progress has been met with a countervailing counterforce. The end of the civil war and the eradication of slavery was met with the Black Codes in Mississippi and nine other former confederate states,...

“Remembering Our Other Ancestors” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – November 10, 2019

During this month of November, we’re reflecting on the theme of Memory. This morning I’d like to spend some time thinking with you about memory and how it shapes us. About how the stories that we tell about ourselves and our experiences shape our sense of identity and self-understanding. Last week, we touched on the personal, on remembering the sources of our strength. And as part of that sermon, I suggested that if we can look back and remember from our past a time when we were challenged,...

“How Are the Children?”  –  Mark W. Harris – May 19, 2019

“How Are the Children?”  -  Mark W. Harris  May 19, 2019 – First Parish of Watertown   Opening Words – “Beyond Borders by Rick Hoyt Go forth Because we are always going forth from somewhere  Going from our homes, our childhoods Going from our cities and countries Going from innocence to experience to enlightenment Going into mystery and questions Going into the desert. Getting to the other side.   Go forth, Leave behind the comfort and community of one place Head into the anxiety and...

“Am I a White Supremacist?” by  Mark W. Harris – October 1, 2017

Opening Words – “My People” by Langston Hughes The night is beautiful, So the faces of my people. The stars are beautiful, So the eyes of my people. Beautiful, also is the sun. Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people. Responsive Reading – adapted from “Dusk” by Langston Hughes Wandering in the dusk, Sometimes You get lost in the dusk— And sometimes not. Beating your fists Against the wall, You break your bones Against the wall— But sometimes not.  Walls have been known To fall, Dusk turn...

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