This Sunday, September 29, from 1:00-1:30 p.m. a solidarity gathering will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto on the corner of Hamilton and Webster. Together we will show that we do not accept hate and aggression, and that we support being a community devoted to respect, dignity and safety for all people. Adults and children of any or no faith background are welcome to join. There will be no speeches, just the expression of our peaceful presence emanating love and light in our community as we pray or reflect silently in unity. (An inclusive, written liturgy will be available for those who would like to use it.)
***Please wear a mask and practice social distancing as we form a circle around the FUMC building.
Background: On Sunday August 15 Rev. Dr. Debra Murray, an African American woman and the Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Palo Alto, was the target of multiple threats of physical violence because of her Black Lives Matter sign. This was among a list of incidents directed at BLM, African American religious leaders, community members, and churches in our city in recent months.
A message from Reverend Amy:
In his Berry Street essay in 2015, the Rev. Sean Parker Dennison, who several years earlier had served here as UUCPA’s sabbatical minister, urged Unitarian Universalists to be “the people who show up.”
Wherever there is a need, a crisis, a cry for justice or for a supportive presence, Unitarian Universalists would show up. We wouldn’t have to lead. We wouldn’t have to plan long-term strategies. We’d just show up wherever we are needed or whenever we are asked. Imagine our reputation: “If you need people to clean up a creek bed or march in a Pride parade, or protest injustice or help protect Muslim worshipers at prayer—call the Unitarian Universalists, they show up!”
We are being asked to show up this Sunday: to surround the Rev. Debra Murray, the First United Methodist Church, the city of Palo Alto, and in particular anyone who has experienced racism here, with something stronger than hate: love.
Reverend Murray, an African-American woman and the Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto, has recently been harassed and threatened because of the Black Lives Matter sign on her lawn at the church parsonage and because of her leadership in the community. Now, clergy and faith leaders of many traditions are calling us to call our community to something better. All the information you need is here:
I will be there; I know Dan plans to be also; and so will members of the UUCPA Action Council and White Folks Dismantling White Supremacy. I hope you can be there, wearing a Side with Love / Standing on the Side of Love t-shirt if you have one, carrying symbols of love and light, or simply showing by your presence that we are united in our determination to make Palo Alto the home, not of racism, but of dignity, respect, and welcome for all.