Heart and Mind - June 2017
Heart and Mind - Dr. Lou Yock
Shut Down Line 5 Pipeline?
You may have noticed banners and signs in the front window of the church. It turns out, our front window is some of the best advertising for who we are, what we’re about, and what we’re doing. The front window sign board even helped inform Sheila Plummer that we were looking for a music director.
The first banner was the UUA logo for “Standing on the Side of Love.” Standing of the Side of Love is the all encompassing slogan adopted by the UUA for social justice issues. Whenever you see that mustard yellow and those words and that heart, you know it’s a UUA group behind it. The banner was purchased when we became a Welcoming Congregation, and was displayed in the sanctuary behind the choir for about 4 or 5 years. After the election last fall, when people carried “Love Trumps Hate” signs in protest, I placed our UUA banner that used to be inside, “outside,” for all to see. While not everyone quite understands what the banner is about, it caught people’s attention, and the intention was clear.
After the Women’s March in January, a participant purchased the sign that said, “In this House We Believe: Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, No Human is Illegal, Science is Real, Love is Love, Kindness is Everything.” As these, too, are all expressions found in UUA literature and signage, and even UUA General Assembly break-out groups, we placed that sign in the window. At this time a couple of people from the community complimented us in passing, for letting the community clearly know what we stand for, even if they do not attend our church. This little sign gave other progressives in the community heart.
Next, after shopping around different committees to find help deciding how to use this great window advertising space, which to be honest many were reluctant to do, the Green Sanctuary Team suggested an “Everyday is Earth Day” banner. Like the other window statements, this was clearly in line with UUA principles, goals, and statements. While some quietly object to the style, color, shape, placement, etc. of these signs and banners, the messages were not really too objectionable for a UUA church.
Now, we are considering putting a “Shut Down Line 5 Pipeline” sign in the window, which is a specific environmental and political statement unique to our area. To do this, the board initiated the process of “speaking for the church.” To place this sign in our window, as an expression for our congregation, we will follow the policy which includes studying the issue, discussing the issue, and finally in August, voting on whether or not this sign speaks for the congregation.
This will be the first time we are using this new policy, long in development. As we debate the sign and the issue, I would ask members of the congregation to be respectful of one another and always assume good intentions. I am thankful for all those who spent so much time working on the policy that will help us become better informed citizens and church members. The Green Sanctuary bulletin board by the coat rack will start the process of educating our members on Line 5, so please be sure to take some time to get the information. Whatever the final decision, take heart that our goals and values are being noticed and appreciated.