The following joint message was emailed to UUCM members and friends on June 16, 2020. It has been updated with contact information for board members.
From Your Ministers:
Dear UUCM, over the past few weeks, your interim ministry team has been engaged in multiple levels of ministry with you in relationship to the awful murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of the police. Many in the congregation have been present at the many protests. Many have visited the scene of his death. Rev. Meg and Rev. Lisa Friedman held a listening circle in which we heard your pain, your anger, and your uncertainty about quite what to do. Each of your interim team has, or will lead services that speak to racism and white supremacy, and we each have, or soon will, offer thoughts in our Wednesday messages. Each of us is impacted differently by Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests. Some of you were there personally, or had family members who were tear gassed by police, while others worried if the unrest would reach the quiet streets of your suburbs. Each of us is impacted differently.
Our time as your interim ministers grows short. On July 31st, our time with you will end. With so little time and with such big events occurring in our world, we are working closely with your board of directors and program council to collectively hold and shape the congregation’s response. Below is a message from your board, and as you’ll see, they are picking up on the fact that we are each impacted differently and want to engage the congregation more deeply in understanding where you are as a body, and what that means for UUCM moving forward.
From Your Board of Trustees:
The murder of George Floyd and the resulting protests in Minnesota and around the globe have rapidly changed the world and views on the Black Lives Matter movement. Leadership at UUCM fully supports the anti-racism movement and taking a hard look at white privilege. Following a listening session held by Rev. Meg and Rev. Lisa, the congregation has also been actively discussing these topics in board and council meetings. Initial steps have been taken – the program council deliberated June’s offering recipient and reaffirmed our commitment to Avenues after verifying that they primarily serve people of color in Minneapolis. We have also taken steps toward sourcing BLM buttons and posters for distribution to membership and are planning to read and discuss the book My Grandmother’s Hands in July and August to catalyze broader anti-racism efforts.
We as a board also want to hear how these events have affected you and what actions you have taken on a personal level. Church leadership needs to understand what members individually think and feel, and how the congregation wants to move forward in these efforts both internally and externally in the short and long term. We also recognize broader conversations within the UUCM community are needed. Planning for further conversations about anti-racism efforts are underway. Please email a board member with your ideas. The efforts will be critical in framing who we want to be and where we want to go as a community.
President: Fred Hulting (incoming); Robert Brooks (outgoing)
Vice President: Cathy Bujold (assuming new role); Melissa Martinson (outgoing)
Directors: Julia Antonsen, Bill Arnold, Becky Halat, Shelley Buss (incoming), Betty Hartnett (incoming), and Cindy Busch (outgoing)