Silos, Sanctuary, & Solidarity

January 15, 2021

Greetings, dear ones!
We hear and feel the calls for healing from this year of repeated violence to bodies, to the land and water, to the treaties and conventions, to ideals of caring and democracy… calls for healing from the direct or vicarious trauma of it all. 

As the Reverend Rita Capezzi of the UU Fellowship of Mankato, a MUUSJA Board member, wrote, “For a wound to heal, it has to be cleaned.”  For a wound to be cleaned, it must be examined, even probed, despite queasiness and pain… the work of healing rarely begins with balm. But we can go through it together, and come out stronger, healthier, more resistant, more ready to be surprised by joy.

MUUSJA began the 2021 racial justice series we call “Silos, Sanctuary, and Solidarity” in November 2020 with online convenings, “Being A Good Relative” and “Prepare to Care,” examining UU’s relationships with Indigenous justice issues. We will continue sharing solidarity trips (such as the invitation to journey to the Line 3 Honor the Earth camp at Palisade, MN, on January 23, organized by Saint Paul’s Unity Church – Unitarian) and online trainings for water protectors at Line 3 in northern Minnesota. Stay tuned for those dates, which we expect to be announced very shortly.

On Saturday morning, January 23rd, we meet UU’s engaged with sanctuary, resistance, advocacy, and accompaniment of newer immigrants to this region, and invite congregations to join us as co-signers of the Minnesota Sanctuary State Coalition.One of the major partners for many Minnesota UU congregations is ISAIAH, a statewide multifaith, multiracial, multicultural coalition of mostly Christian and Muslim congregations.

MUUSJA and many UU’s will join online in ISAIAH’s biannual convocation on January 24th. ISAIAH’s Barbershops and Black Congregations Cooperative, and the Muslim Caucus, informs and extends their work for a caring economy and multicultural democracy in Minnesota. 

On February 16th to 25th, UU’s across the region are invited to a 5-session Racial Justice Summit, an opportunity for reflection and conversation about what we have been learning in this past decade about race, racism, and “how to be an anti-racist” (as Ibrahim Kendi wrote), what’s been learned from mistakes made, what partnerships are forming, and how we can keep on moving forward, in this new decade. That conversation will be informed by our shared wisdom and experience, by invited worship leaders, and through readings from “Widening the Circle,” the report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change, which analyzed structural and systemic racism and white supremacy culture within Unitarian Universalism.Our conversations will segue into the UUA New Day Rising national conference on February 27th. Here is the calendar and registration links. May the healing begin. 

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UUA’s Side with Love “Thirty Days of Love” resources, readings, music, events… Beginning January 17 through February 14th, look for readings, resources, forums & worship from UUA’s Side with Love … see the full line-up at https://sidewithlove.org/thirty-days-of-love and “save the date” on January 21, January 26, and January 28 for the forums … get the details and register at 
https://sidewithlove.org/30-days-of-love-2021-live-events

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Transforming Rural Understanding of Equity – “When Hate Comes to Town”  January 19, 2020, 2:30-4:00pm  – Part 1 of a 3 Part Series—Conversations with Rural MN Social Justice Workers  – Registration Link:  https://tinyurl.com/TRUESession6

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Indigenous Rights, Line 3 Resistance & Being a Good Relative
Date TBD (expected mid to late January, stay tuned!)
If you missed the November 24, 2020: “Prepare to Care” – Line 3 Resistance, Climate Justice & Indigenous Rights – you can watch it on YouTube now …. And stay tuned for upcoming water protector (and allies!) training focusing on non-violent direct action, legal support, decolonization, winter weather preparedness, and leveraging your voice and privilege. Workshops to be livestreamed from the front lines and to feature cultural components such as storytelling, songs, or art-making. Registration information coming soon.
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Immigration Sanctuary, Accompaniment & Resistance
January 23rd, 10 a.m. – Noon
How have UU’s & interfaith partners across our region been showing up in solidarity with newer immigrant and refugee communities? Talk with folks involved in direct resistance (vigils, protests, legislation), support (court observers, letter-writing, physical sanctuary & accompaniment), education & outreach (forums, dinners), and relationship-building (frontline & interfaith partners). CLICK TO REGISTER HERE.
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ISAIAH’s “We Make Minnesota” Vision of a Multicultural Democracy – Virtual Launch
January 24th, 2 – 5 p.m. Central
MUUSJA is joining and encouraging those UU’s in Minnesota who are comfortable working in coalition with mostly Christian and Muslim communities to join us in siding with ISAIAH’s vision and work towards a multicultural democracy and caring economy. We’re aware that particular religious expressions may not serve everyone, and may even trigger trauma for some of our beloveds, yet we also know that many congregations find the Faith Agenda and interfaith association with ISAIAH powerful, effective, and spiritually rich. ISAIAH’s Barbershops and Black Congregations Cooperative, and the Muslim Caucus, informs and extends their work for a caring economy and multicultural democracy in Minnesota. We invite all UU’s to consider this an opportunity to reflect on how we show up and connect with interfaith and multi-faith organizing, as we build upon a history of relationships with ISAIAH, Minnesota Council of Churches, Jewish Community Action (JCA) and National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) and Muslim American Society (MAS), Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC), Minnesota Multifaith Network (MnMN), and other faith-based organizing groups in our region.To register, click here.

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Reflection & Readiness: MUUSJA UU’s Racial Justice Summit
February 16th, 18th, 20th, 23rd & 25th Tuesdays & Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Central Time; Saturday 2/20, 10-12 AM Central Time
An opportunity to reflect, convene, and connect across UU congregations in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, to share how we’ve been learning and taking action towards thriving multicultural democracy, and discern next steps for collective liberation. For details and to register, click here

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UUA New Day Rising Conference
February 27th, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Central Time
Is your congregation ready to take a new step in changing white supremacy culture? Want to learn what your fellow congregations are working on, and how you might apply it at home?  Join a continent of UUs as we explore next steps in creating Beloved UU Communities. To find out more and register, click here

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Faithfully, for justice and joy,


Karen Wills, Executive Director
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