Minister’s Moment, November 2018
The month of November begins every year with an opportunity to remember our ancestors and this year is no different. Around the world people are heading into the coldest, darkest part of the year celebrating and honoring Samhain, Halloween, All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and Day of the Dead.
In addition to these sacred holidays, November also brings us Native American Heritage Month, Veterans Day (Nov. 11), Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20) and Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22). These national and cultural holidays call us to remember the brave people and complex stories which came before us and make us who we are today.
So, perhaps it makes sense that our theme for November is MEMORY.
At the time of this writing, I am sitting in anguish at the possibility of our current administration narrowly redefining gender to erase transgender people. This move would contrast sharply with the broad consensus of the medical and scientific communities and is simply cruel and unnecessary. Biology is full of variations and gender and sex are not the same thing. If this happens it will harm people I love, people who have shaped me, and people who very much exist and are real in my life, in the life of this congregation, and all across history and time.
So, as we remember our ancestors and our history this month let’s be sure to remember transgender people. Let’s tell their stories, say their names, and recommit to making the world safe for them.
Let’s remember the veterans who fought for all of us and our responsibility as a nation to make sure they have the services and care they need when they come home.
Let’s remember the difficult history of racism in America and work to heal this wound.
Let’s remember the Native Americans on who’s land we live and who’s stories we entered into with great respect and commitment to support native people.
Let’s remember that we did not make ourselves. As Rev. Rebecca Parker says, “We receive who we are before we choose who we will become.” In other words, we are born into a story already being told.
As we spend time at PCUU this month remembering, perhaps you can take some time at home to do the same. Remember your ancestors. Tell their stories around your Thanksgiving table. These people paved the way for us to be here. It is our job now to remember them, carry on their work, and continue to fight for justice, freedom, and equality. Whatever happens, we owe it to them to keep going.