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Beacon – Monthly Newsletter
Sent on the first of every month, the Beacon opens with an overview of the coming month’s Sunday Services, then shares detailed news of UUCGT activities from our Board, Staff, and Committees. The last page is always a detailed calendar of all the events and meetings in the coming month. The Beacon is edited and composed by Amanda Mangiardi; the deadline for next month’s issue is the 24th of the current month; send your questions to email@example.com
Flash – Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly e-newsletter, sent from the UUCGT Office, shares detailed info about the weekend’s coming Services, especially the Sunday morning Service, along with quick updates from Music, Religions Education, and whichever standing or ad hoc Committees are busiest at the time. The Flash includes links to our online calendar, a weekly Bulletin Board, and usually some fun or thought-provoking images, thoughts, and quotes. Our Office Administrator puts the Flash together; e-mail the office at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Rev. Alex’s Coffee Corner
Dear Ones: When you think of Justice and Equity, which is the Soul Matters theme for the month of February, what images come to mind? I am reminded of a sermon I gave a few years ago that won the UU Office at the United Nations’ (UU@UN) Dana Greeley Sermon Competition back in 2019/2020. (Rev. Dana Greeley was the first president of the newly formed UUA in 1961 after the merger of the Universalists and the Unitarians.) In this sermon, I talked about equity and gender with how they related to my desire for a pair of pink tennis
shoes when I was four––It’s a cute story! (If you’d like, watch the sermon here: https://youtu.be/9Gd5Q80Ib7c?feature=shared. I also touch on the differences between equality and equity, illustrated by the following photo:
Equality vs. Equity
This image shows two scenes: one of three people, all of different heights, watching a baseball game on a single box (equality––everyone gets one box) and another where the three people are standing on boxes according to their need (equity––the one who is tall enough to see over the fence needs no boxes to stand on, while the other two stand on boxes that bring them up to the same height). At the time, I found this image helpful in drawing the distinction that equality is not truly equity. That treating people the exact same rather than treating them according to their needs––bringing their vision over the fence––misses the point. The desire of equality is sameness. The desire of equity is equal outcome.
As I’ve seen the conversation develop, I’ve now come to understand equity and equality via a different photo,: Equality vs. Equity vs. Liberation (Same source.) Notice how there’s a third box where all three people watch the game without a fence––the structural barriers that create the inequities in the first place. There’s also a fourth box inviting you to envision your own image for what Liberation looks like.
I find this compelling because it points to a truth: that no matter how hard we work at achieving equal outcomes, equity in a structural system that is both unfair and is built that way by design will always fall short of the vision
of equity we strive for. In essence, there will always be a fence or structural barrier unless we think, vision, and dream outside of the box for the future we seek to create. We need to create a future in which there are no barriers and fences that create the inequities we continue to see in our world. Working within the system slaps a bandage on a wider issue. To address the problem, we have to address its structural root.
As we bridge from January, our month of Liberating Love, into a month of Justice and Equity, I invite you to hold Liberation as a key part of this conversation. We can’t live into our Universalist sense of a love that holds us all so long as we support structures and systems that fence us apart. We need some creative thinking to truly create the Beloved Community. We need some dreaming outside of what currently is. We need to dream of the justice that is not yet here but we know is still possible.
What are your visions for Liberation? A future in which children live free from the horrors of violence, poverty,
and war? A future in which we actually clothe, house, and feed people––all people? A future where kids can
grow up with a penchant for pink shoes and not fear over their identity? In which the fences and barriers that
hold us apart from one another are removed? I invite you to dare to imagine what’s possible with me.
With deep faith and love,
Reverend Alex Jensen