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Transformation: "Not Somewhere Else, But Here"

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Thank you to those who came to the discussion on Sunday about this essay from UU scholar/theologian Rebecca Parker after the worship service!

This series is intended to prepare us for the Open Question Cafe after the worship service on September 8 - and the question is (intentionally) fairly broad:

"How are we called to transform:

  • a) as a fellowship,

  • b) the community of which we are a part, and

  • c) systems of oppression?"

With such a broad question, there’s a risk of not going particularly deep - which doesn’t allow for much transformation!

So, discussing Parker’s essay was intended to dip into some depth in one particular area: racism in the US. (Given what is happening both internationally and also in our denomination, this is a key area of concern for many at this moment in history.)

In her essay, Parker describes four spiritual practices “to inhabit my own country, […] to become a participant in the actual history and social reality of the land in which I have been born and to which I belong":

  • Theological reflection,

  • Remedial education,

  • Soul work, and

  • Engaged presence.

Each of these can be helpfully suggestive of how we might be called to transform.

As you read Parker and consider her words:

toward what transformation are you called?


Additional Resources:

One of the things that came up in our discussion on Sunday was the idea that race has always been a significant issue when people of different races have come together. However, although this is a common understanding, it is likely not factual. Some further reading on this topic:

When we think about Transformation, though, there are many issues that intersect with race. Some other resources that I would recommend to accompany this series (which all touch both internal and societal transformation) are:

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