Last Sunday, I participated in our community's interfaith Thanksgiving service, held at Temple Sharaay Tefila. The theme of the service was coming together to oppose hatred in all of its forms--racism, anti-immigrant bias, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, misogyny, and more. I showed up because it was important that our Fellowship's voice be added to those who side with love.
In the strategic plan that the Board is developing to implement our congregation's vision, one of the things we're looking at is how we become the congregation that shows up in our community. Shows up for justice. Shows up to help. Shows up for action. Shows up when marginalized communities call on us--without question or comment or complaint. And that starts with me, as your minister, showing up.
But I can't be everywhere, nor can I know of everything, nor am I enough, by myself, to represent our Fellowship. So I need to know: Where do you show up in our community? When you hear of opportunities that are important, will you let the rest of us know? And will you show up, too?
Perhaps if you're going to show up somewhere, you'll wear a UUFNW t-shirt (available in my office) when you do so. It's not necessary, but it says to the community that you're representing an organization and not just there as an individual.
At Temple Sharaay Tefila on Sunday, the interfaith youth of the Westchester Youth Alliance were making and packing 3,000 Thanksgiving meals for people in our community who would otherwise be hungry this week. Their director invited us to participate in this next year so that the number can go higher. I will be passing along that invitation to our youth and adults when the time is right.
I hope that we can be the people who show up. I promise to show up more. I hope to do that alongside you.