On the Situation in the Middle East

Israel, Gaza, the Middle East, Northern Africa … If you are anything like me, you are in
pain, confused, feeling helpless and/or outraged by the death and violence in Israel and
Gaza. You too may be very concerned about the antisemitism and Islamophobia rising
in the United States. It is way too easy to be overwhelmed and so turn away, not focus
or dwell on this catastrophic destruction that directly impacts many of our neighbors and
friends and sends ripples of hate around the world.
I do not have answers, but I am pushing myself and inviting you to engage as our faith
and beliefs in dignity, worth and peace call us to engage. Here are four opportunities:

  1. Please Learn more through the lenses of Unitarian Universalists whose identities are
    Jewish, Palestinian and Middle Eastern. “Why We Cannot Turn Away: Resources for
    Unitarian Universalists Engaging on Israel/Palestine.”
  2. Contribute on Feb 25 to the special collection for <unicef.org> particularly dedicated
    to serving the needs of children trying to survive in war zones. (Please make sure
    your donations on the 25 th are earmarked as either fulfilling your pledge or to UUU
    which will go to UNICEF).
  3. March 10 worship service begins our UUU stewardship drive to support the mission
    and vision of our congregation. The sermon will focus on the Islamic pillars of
    Ramadan which requires generosity.
  4. March 9 from 10 to noon I will host a listening circle based on UUA resources:
    The circle process is a simple practice of sharing and listening deeply. This circle
    is not intended to be a space for debate, rather a space to engage with one
    another respectfully held in covenantal community. The first circle conversations
    are a beginning place to start engaging on this topic. It’s a place to acknowledge
    how people are experiencing the conflict. For these listening circles, we
    encourage people to share from our hearts our individual experiences. They’re
    also a time to listen to different truths with love, honesty, respect, & compassion
    & sit with discomfort. on the conflict.

My heart breaks for all humanity and the planet as this violence wrecks terrible death
and injury in its wake. My heart swells with compassion for all of us who are distressed
and don’t know what to do. Let’s gather and help each other along as we continue to
learn what it means to be faithful in this dangerous time.