Northlake Lighthouse – October 2020
Foundations of Our House
–Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister
In September we have been talking about Our House of Belonging, and what makes this church our home. In October we will continue to talk about what are the foundational elements that make a church steady and enduring. This will include discussing our ancestors and how we must know where we came from. We will also talk about the people of the church, and how we each are part of the foundation we build our community on. Toward the end of the month we will talk about some of our foundational beliefs/values: Democracy and Kindness. I hope you join us!
Along with many other congregations across the country, Northlake has felt compelled to grapple with the truth of our history as immigrants to this area that colonized a region that was already occupied. There have been a number of opportunities to engage in this discussion, and talk about reconciliation in real ways. As we confront this issue this year, here are some areas each of us can focus on:
1. Duwamish Rent Program: The Northlake Board voted in support of paying rent to the Duwamish people, since our church is on the land they occupied for centuries. The funding for this will come out of the Social Justice Team budget this year, then will be proposed as a permanent line in our annual budget for the coming years.
2. October 12th is Indigenous People’s Day. We will honor this on October 11th by inviting Duwamish Tribal leaders to participate in the Sunday morning service. We can also support the Duwamish by signing the petition for federal tribal recognition (the petition is in the Drop Box on the church deck) and by participating in their virtual Gala and Native Art Auction in October.
3. Meaningful Movies is hosting the movie The Condor and The Eagle in November. The Condor and the Eagle is a powerful way to present the inspiring work of land defenders and activists (largely made up of Indigenous people around the world) to large audiences across the world. The film asks how social change happens and explores best practices on how to build effective social movements. Watch the trailer →
4. I also urge you to think about how you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, and ponder ways to change the narrative around this holiday that was created based on myths around our occupation of this land and the people. There have been several actions at recent UUA General Assemblies calling us to reimagine Thanksgiving, and you might look at these as you move into this holiday season:
The Coming Storm
Most of you are aware by now that the national U.S. election is coming up! This is causing much anxiety in a time when most of us feel we can not carry one more stress in our pandemic, climate crises, social crisis and chaotic year.
And yet, it is imperative that we seriously consider the scenarios we will be faced with, based on what the current administration has been saying. Here are the 4 basic scenarios:
1. Republicans win: President Trump is elected through a majority of electoral college votes: There is massive protest and/or official questioning of the legitimacy of the results;
2. Chaos wins: Due to voter suppression, court challenges, voting irregularities or disputed ballot counting, there is no clear outcome to the election; one candidate declares victory prematurely and/or the election goes to the Supreme Court;
3. Fascism advances: Biden definitively wins the election but Trump refuses to accept the outcome, and deploys enforcement agents to contest the election by force;
4. Democrats win: Biden wins and the results are not officially contested but there is major backlash with state and/or vigilante violence, along with threats to targeted communities.
What is our role as a religious community in this? Our first step is to breathe deeply and center ourselves during the impending chaos, so that we may be leaders and not simply reactors. Next, we must talk about this and what we can do together and individually.
There are 6 basic ways we can be active in this time of change. We can focus on one of these areas, some or all:
1. Direct Action – this is becoming involved with others in planned marches, rallies or actions that demonstrate citizen’s concern;
2. Education – this is when we move into learning more about a situation and offering ways for others to learn more;
3. Service – this is moving into places to help others in need by providing food, housing or direct assistance;
4. Legislative – this means contacting our politicians and representatives, our government paid agencies, and expecting them to listen to concerns and expectations;
5. Donations – giving financial support to those groups doing work we are unable to do;
6. Organizing – being in touch with other groups, coming together to form large coalitions of people with similar concerns, and supporting each other as we work together.
We need to ask ourselves how we plan to respond to the election, with the full awareness that things can go very badly for democracy in the coming months. As we move into this time, let us meditate more, let us center our thoughts and intentions, and let us plan together how we respond as religious people.
Northlake Board Meeting: All Are Welcome
A reminder that all members are welcome to sit in on church board meetings. Board meetings occur the first Wednesday of each month. The next board meeting will take place October 7th from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like the Zoom meeting link or to add an item to the agenda.
Many leaves keep the tree alive!
Each of us is a leaf. We have the chlorophyll that absorbs what is needed so the whole can stay healthy and grow. In other words, we are a part of a whole.
Please take a moment to print out this leaf, cut it out, write your name on it, and all the committees or activities you do with Northlake.
When you return them to us (in the Drop Box on the church deck or by U.S. mail) we will place them on the tree that shows all the people who participate in the health of this community.
If you can’t print the leaf at home, we will have blank copies in the Drop Box for you to pick up and complete. Please return these by October 18th!
Facing Life With Death workshop
This six-series workshop will be an opportunity to spend time with other folk at Northlake getting to know them, while discussing a topic that is important to all of us, planning for the experience of death. The workshops will be led by Rev. Nancy and Margaret Rogers, with Carolyn H. leading the workshop on November 10th. We meet each Tuesday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. via zoom, skipping Nov. 3rd. Register with Margaret at DRE@northlakeuu.org. We need a minimum of 5 participants to commit to this series.
Oct. 6: Talking Anout Death – We will begin to explore emotions, experiences and perspective on death.
Oct. 13: What Happens When We Die? – This will be a time to explore beliefs and practices about death and mourning.
Oct. 20: Bereavement – We will talk about the universal experience of grief.
Oct. 27: Suicide and the Right to Die – We will explore perceptions and assumptions about suicide and the ethical questions concerning the right to die with dignity.
Nov. 10: Preparation for Death – This will be a time to discuss the legal aspects related to preparing for death with time to make your personal preferences clear regarding your own death.
Nov. 17: How You Want To Be Memorialized – This will be a time to plan your own memorial service, what you want included and how you wish to be remembered.