A big shout out to our Director of Religious Education Chris Jarman for facilitating the 11 week “Widening the Circle of Concern” study group for BBUUC’s Board, Minister, and Council leadership.
“Widening the Circle of Concern” is the June 2020 Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change that analyzed structural and systemic racism and white supremacy culture within Unitarian Universalism and made recommendations to advance long-term change. This report is the culmination of three years of interviews, focus groups, testimony, surveys, and an outside audit. The research and output were grounded in lived experience, one of Unitarian Universalism sources in our search for truth and meaning. The Commission centered the experience of those most directly impacted: Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color.
Over the past 3 months, BBUUC leaders learned about theology, governance, congregations and communities, hospitality and inclusion, religious professionals, educating for liberation, innovations and risk-taking, restoration and reparations, and accountability. Each of our weekly sessions included brainstorming ideas for actions we can take within BBUUC. Our final meetings organized and prioritized our action items, concluding with consensus for these top five:
- Training lay leadership, worship team, and greeters in intercultural competencies
- Including an anti-oppression statement in our BBUUC bylaws
- Sharing through Worship services
- Providing educational materials for the congregation
- Forming justice partnerships with organizations led by those most affected in our community
Thank you to Chris and to everyone who dedicated their Friday evenings to this intense study group.