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A Message From Rev. Marjorie

revmarjorieIn an article I recently read these words rang true, “Our liberation is completely entwined with everyone else’s liberation. Everybody needs to be in the room for all of us to wake up together. It’s not about helping anybody. It’s about us waking up together…” Why do we need to wake up to one another’s presence, humanity, need, hurt, and joy? I believe that waking up to a world of compassion rather than disrespect and violence should be our primary commitment. You may wonder if it isn’t much easier to remain insulated and isolated from the needs of the world? Many would say “yes” and so the epidemic of silo-ism rages on. This is my concern: If we do not care for one another the discontent and incivility of the world/community/neighborhood will make its way to our doorstep, and by that point it will have gained such momentum that we, as individuals, and as a community, will be unable to have significant impact.

Last Friday, at the high school several teens stood up in solidarity, as an act of defiance, over the decision not to indict the police officer who fatally shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson. The action in the high school got heated and devolved into spitting and some form of physical altercation ensued, why? In the Sudbury community, as well as in the surrounding towns, there has been an inability to engage in civil discourse and behavior… If the adults are unable to model such respectful behavior with one another how can we possible imagine that our youth will? Modeling of uncivil discourse is trickling down from the national political scene into the local political environment and now to the youngest amongst us. From bullying to disrespect of physical safety, when did it become all right to treat any being with disregard and disdain? What an affront to the golden rule: Treat others as you wish to be treated… it is a basic tenant of civility and society.

We have a choice to isolate or to preempt. I for one would like to prevent through active engagement and gentle reminding. I have been meeting as a member of the Sudbury interfaith clergy group and our discussions have turned toward incivility and the potential outcomes of such behavior in our community and beyond. Please be mindful of this important work and know that I am committed to making our community and our world a place where we can all wake up to compassion and caring together. I hope that you will join me in this critical and very personal endeavor of mutual respect and speaking our truth in love.

Beginning this Sunday, the hour after worship will be considered a time for “Fellowship” and conversation. We would invite those who want to talk business to move their conversations into the library in meeting style. I will be occupying a table in the parish hall for those who would like to gather and talk about the sermon or any other “non-business” topics that are compelling of conversation. I invite the community of First Parish to practice and model tolerance, civility and speaking our truth in love in a world that does not value such important markers of a just society.

Please join me in creating the community of our aspirations!