PRACTICING GENTLENESSS... This Week at UCC Watertown
Updated: Oct 4, 2018
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” --Ian McLaren
TW: sexual assault
It's a difficult moment to be a woman in public life. This is what many of the most important women in my life are telling me. The constant stream of #MeToo stories is desperately important in unmasking the virulent, pervasive sexism that corrodes the heart of our culture. And that movement has ramped up in recent days as the future of the U.S. Supreme Court depends on how powerful men respond (or not) to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s story of trauma at the age of fifteen.
I said in my sermon on Sunday that this isn’t merely or even primarily a partisan political issue. It’s a moral one. That means that this is about more than “being right” – the wellbeing and safety of millions of women, especially young women, are at stake.
That includes women’s safety and wellbeing in the present as well as in future. As many of my dear ones have reminded me, it is exhausting to be bombarded with detailed retellings of sexual violence in the news media, when so many have experienced violence themselves. It is, in the proper psychological sense, triggering, that is, “a psychological stimulus that prompts recall of a previous traumatic experience.” (Wikipedia)
People, especially women, are hurting right now. So I’ll repeat the advice of Unitarian Universalist minister Monica Dobbins this week, which a friend shared on Facebook:
To the hundreds of men on my friends list: Be gentle with the women in your lives. You are likely not to understand how traumatizing this last week has been. Women are suffering a lot these days as they are reliving all the stories they never told. You may not understand why the women you love are on edge, so I’m telling you. Those of us who are in women-only spaces or in professions that put us in proximity to other people’s pain can attest to the intensity of this week. Please be gentle with the women you love.
Let us express holy anger at sexism and injustice. And let us act now for a more just, more equitable world. But let us also be gentle with one an other. Let us be kind. Let us be compassionate, just as God is compassionate. (Luke 6:36)
QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: How has God shown up for you when you were struggling? How can we support others, especially women, in the “hard battles” they are fighting right now?
COMING UP IN COMMUNITY
· Sheltered Reality: 6pm in the Labyrinth Garden. A motivational drum group will perform as part of Wednesday Church. A picnic meal will be served followed by (worship and classes for kids) Invite your friends!
· UCCW Choir, 7pm
· Tom’s Community Office Hours, 9am-12pm @ Gather
· Adult Bible Study, 8:45am
· Worship, 10am
· Book Study, 4pm (Tom’s Office)
· College Students who want to apply for the Betty Erling Scholarship here is the URL link, https://goo.gl/forms/dTK2IUlVqCHD7xpg1. It is a Google Form. Applications are due by the end of September. It is a $500 scholarship which is renewable up to 4 years.
Tuesday – Saturday 10/2- 10/6
· Pastor Tom will be out of the office
· Women’s Fellowship leadership group, 12:30pm
· Women’s Fellowship will meet at 1:30pm.
· Adult Bible Study, 8:45am
· Communion Sunday Worship 10am, Neighbors in Need offering
· Book Study 4pm, (Tom’s Office)
· Pilgrim Fair 9am – 1 pm, don’t forget your baked goods, cookies, pies, bars, etc. We need 165 doz. cookies for the fair.
· Canvases for Christ, 1 pm fellowship hall