The clear sky of late winter spreads a bright blue blanket over a world that’s hurting, broken open this past year by multiple crises that all happened at once: global pandemic, racial injustice, climate disasters, and authoritarian threats to democracy. All this has been laid bare on our screens, in our streets, in the halls of Congress, in a time when we haven’t had our usual distractions.
When the pandemic struck last winter our board reached out to members and held online listening sessions, and ministry teams called our retired members and reached out to parents and families. We heard from parents who were juggling unfathomable demands from home and workplace; from some whose lives had suddenly become financially unstable, and from elders who felt trapped in solitary confinement. We heard from People of Color who were dealing with all these things, along with the added severe impacts of racial injustice. Last fall we reached out again, this time more broadly to the whole congregation. And we’ve designed all our programs to meet the needs that our members shared.
I’m grateful for all that we’ve done together as a community, even as I grieve our collective losses and trauma. In addition to our online programs, ERUUF’s Multicultural and Justice ministry teams created significant programs to help us better understand and confront the crises of racism, transphobia, immigration, and earth’s climate as well as other vitally important issues of our time. They’ve offered us ways to help address harm with financial contributions and safe, socially distant action.
This past year we learned that ERUUF’s people and systems are strong enough to get through multiple disasters with love and deep care for each other and for our communities. As the winter and the pandemic both begin to loosen their grip, now we turn back toward major efforts that we had to set aside last year: discern the needs and opportunities within our music programs as we search for a new Music Director(s); continue to learn and reach out to the larger community in exciting new ways; continue to listen to our members about what they need for spiritual and practical support.
We’ve done a lot to make the best possible use of this odd pandemic year. And now ERUUF is extremely well-positioned, first and foremost with the collective strength of our members who give their time and talent and confront the issues of our times with confidence, hope and love.
To make our vision come fully alive we also ask you for your financial support for ERUUF’s shared ministry. This year we will have unique and significant opportunities to ask ourselves what difference we want to make, and for whom before moving forward into our broken open world. I’m confident that as always, we’ll begin by listening to each other. And that we’ll keep listening as we lean into the abundant opportunities we have to love each other and create justice together.
With gratitude and love,