Rev. Tony’s Post Election Pastoral Message

Image of Rev. Tony Lorenen

Rev. Tony Lorenzen

Dear members and friends of Hopedale Unitarian Parish,

We woke up this morning to a country more divided than at any time since the Civil War. Half the country – half of our neighbors and friends and family – are euphoric and feeling liberated. The other half are genuinely scared not only for the political direction of the country, but for their very safety,even their lives.

Parents are wondering what to tell their children. I think we begin by telling them that they are loved and beautiful and acceptable and capable and that we are here for them and will do everything we can to protect them and keep them safe. I think we remind them, as we remind ourselves, that our faith tells us there is no such thing as a lesser person. We remind them that we speak up for what is right. We remind them that no matter what they hear elsewhere, Muslims, and immigrants, girls and women, disabled people, people of color, and poor people deserve the same dignity and respect as everyone else.

Let us remind ourselves that our faith calls us to oppose bigotry, hatred and discrimination. Let us remind ourselves that Unitarian Universalism calls us to oppose racism, sexism and misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia. Let us remind ourselves that we are called to kindness and compassion. Let us remember that right now people are afraid, not just because of political differences, but afraid for their safety because of who they are. People are afraid they will be victims of violence; that their marriages will be dissolved, and that it will become acceptable to treat them as lesser people. People are afraid that others will not stand up for them for fear of receiving the same treatment.

Let us spread the news among our friends and families and social media contacts that Hopedale Unitarian Parish is a safe place; that If you are a person of color, a woman, LGBTQ, an immigrant (documented or undocumented), a Muslim, a victim or survivor of sexual assault, know that we at Hopedale Unitarian Parish see you and love you and that you are welcome here in our space and that it is a safe space for you.

If anyone needs to talk or process, please call me at the church or call my cell phone at 508-344-3668.

You are not alone. Join us Sundays at 10:30.  Spread the word to friends and family and coworkers and social media contacts that Hopedale Unitarian Parish is a safe place for women, Muslims, LGBTQ persons, veterans, unemployed and underemployed people, immigrants,  people living with depression or battling addiction.

In the days ahead we will be called to practice Unitarian Universalism in a difficult and contentious social and political climate. We will be called to solidarity with many groups of people who may be targeted with discrimination or even violence. We will also be called to practice kindness and compassion while not demonizing those we feel to be unjust or intolerant.

It is clear from this election season many of us in America do not understand each other. People on all sides feel hurt, forgotten, left out, and unheard. Healing can only begin by seeking out and building relationships across the differences that separate us. It’s difficult work, but I know we are up to the task.

With grace and blessing,

Rev. Tony