If Trayvon Martin’s Family Walked Into A UU Church, What Would They Hear?

other than “We are sorry for your loss.”


8 thoughts on “If Trayvon Martin’s Family Walked Into A UU Church, What Would They Hear?

  1. What words are there that can bring healing? We certainly can’t bring him back. We can offer compassion, which is (or should be) being with someone in his or her sorrow. Tagore says, “The small truth has words that are clear; the great truth has great silence.”

  2. So here’s the question back at you: your asking what they would hear suggests you have an idea what they should hear from us were they to enter our door, so what would you have us do that would be audible to them? And, unless they are members of our community to whom a direct response is only to be expected, are you asking what anyone would hear if they were to enter on any Sunday? are you asking whether whatever that is is sufficient to cradle the souls of a family in the throes of such grief and the experience of such injustice?

    • You’re right…I do have an idea what might help if they walked in the door. But since that’s not the question I asked, I will not answer it. I asked a specific question…not what I think they might need to hear from a liberal religious community, but what would the liberal religious community say (without someone prompting them).

      • Well, presuming that no one knew they were coming and, so knowing, prepared a special service: they would hear pre-service social chit chat which belongs in coffee hour not clogging the entryway. They would hear the minister calling people to their seats ten minutes after the posted starting time. They would hear the noise of chitchat taking a few more minutes to subside after most were seated and the service (sort of) begun. They would hear a canned welcome statement about how welcoming we are of difference followed by endless announcements at the head of the service. A little bit of good music, but nothing especially comforting, unless they are comforted by Spirit of Life once a month. They would hear people talking about their personal/ family joys and sorrows; and if they went forward to tell their sorrow and their anger, people would listen empathetically, putting on their best empathy faces, and not talk to them afterward, for the most part, because they feel awkward. They would hear a unison offering reading that is read every week about using the money to build the congregation and change the world. They would hear a well-researched sermon that aimed at being spiritual and perhaps analyzing a particular social ill, but only as an intellectual exercise. They would hear some more mostly good music. They would hear a blessing and go out for more chitchat, this time with coffee. And if they were new, perhaps have 2 people speak to them, awkwardly.

        What they would not hear is a service centered on comforting the mourning. What they would not hear is a service aimed at addressing the systemic and personal racism that is alive and very well, though sick, in our own community/ state/ nation/ world. What they would not hear is anything that addresses their sorrow and anger and the conditions that brought it into being. What they would not hear is a service that set aside the months of pre-planning of a well-organized service in order to deal with the new reality of the week or day or moment.

  3. If this occurred in my home community, I think our UU church would work with our local interfaith community organizing group, which involves many diverse churches, to see how we could “change the world”, or at least the local police department and justice system.

    • My question was not about UU dilittanteness in a situation like this. I asked a specific question…what would the family HEAR in a UU church?

  4. I’m thinking back to the shootings at a UU church in July 2008. Two people died and six others were wounded. One of the dead and several of the wounded were from my church. Two days after the shooting the man whose wife died on the church’s floor entered my church for the memorial service. As soon as he entered I put my arms around him. We both cried. Nothing was spoken. Nothing needed to be spoken.

  5. If they walked in tomorrow, they would probably hear about the rally tomorrow afternoon downtown and the planning meeting that that is happening in a local Baptist church that a bunch of folks are going to. It does suck that a political response is the best response we can come up with, but it is a response and I suppose that’s something.

    Our interim tweeted today about wearing a hoodie.

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