On June 19, 1865, two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the end of the Civil War, Federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas and notified all African Americans that they were now free. This Black Independence Day is now a national holiday called “Juneteenth”. Like Martin Luther King’s birthday, it is celebrated by Unitarian Universalists nationwide to remind ourselves of the fundamental importance of racial justice. For UUs, Juneteenth should be a special day of awareness, empathy, and universal love. Let us be “woke” and commit to the continual pursuit of mindful “wokeness” for ourselves and others.
The latest draft of the Article II document being developed by UUA considers universal love to be the center of gravity of our UU faith and to anchor the concepts of Interdependence, Equity, Transformation, Pluralism, Generosity, and Justice. Celebration of Juneteenth is only one of many everyday expressions of our commitment to racial equity and to the overarching unity -and sacredness- of humanity and nature. Unitarian Universalists seek to illuminate awareness of the interdependence and oneness of all life and phenomena and to promote social justice. Unitarian Universalism encourages unbridled spiritual growth without the constraints of creed, dogma, doctrine, scripture, or adherence to irrational stasis. Impermanence, diversity, and never-ending transformation are axiomatic consequences of interdependence and should be embraced, not feared, or resisted.
As most of us learned during the May 28 service, our dear friend and devoted “high priestess” of social justice, Linda Myers, is relocating to Leesburg, Florida. Hopefully, she will still visit us from time to time. We owe Linda our thanks for her non-stop energy in advocating for many social justice causes including Black Lives Matter, celebration of Martin Luther King Day and Juneteenth, petitioning for reproductive health and abortion rights, assuming a leadership role in the Citrus County League of Women Voters and many other activities. Thank you, Linda, and best wishes for your future travels and adventures!