Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” So said Oscar Wilde, with his usual economy of words and wit. As we continue our focus on this month’s theme of “Truths & Lies,” it is this complexity that we’ll be sitting with in this coming Sunday’s service.
In addition to our 10:30 am service on Sunday, we encourage you to attend the 1:00 pm national service with Unitarians across the country, as part of this year’s annual conference. More information and the links for this special service can be found here. (Given the two Sunday services on offer this week, we will be encouraging people to take an adequate break for lunch!)
As you may have heard, it has been a very eventful week in Canadian Unitarianism. As was shared in the service last Sunday, delegates from across the country met the previous day for our Annual General Meeting. A spontaneous motion was passed to adopt an 8th principle, calling Unitarians to accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions. Unfortunately, the parliamentarian made a mistake in good faith by proceeding with the motion from the floor, as it went against our by-laws that require congregations be given advance notice of all the items to be discussed and voted on during a meeting. There will be another meeting held on 27 November to allow delegates to return to the decision. While this has been frustrating and deeply disappointing for many, this delay also gives us time over the coming months to fully engage our congregations in discussions around our growing commitments to racial justice. For a more detailed description of the events of the past week, please see the report from our delegates down below and read the thoughtful document from the CUC, which outlines a constructive way forward.
Finally, two years ago, the CUC created the Dismantling Racism Study Group to examine how systemic racism manifests within our denomination and congregations. Many of you participated in the group’s research. (Thank you!) Their Final Report, released last week, is, in my view, essential reading for every Canadian Unitarian. So, I ask that you read it in the coming days, as it will give shape to our upcoming conversations not only on the national level, but within our congregation, as well.
Let us all savour these sunlight of these coming days.
In faith and love,