Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Message to My Congregation about the Election

Dear Members and Friends,

Yesterday citizens throughout our nation elected those who will lead our nation, and the only thing that could have been predicted was that there would be a broad range of emotions on this day. 

If you are struggling with the election results, I urge you to reach out. Get together with people who matter to you. Call or FaceTime or Skype those who are dear to you. Have real conversations. Laugh. Cry. Don't remain isolated. Be reminded that your community is still here-you are not alone. Also, I encourage you to take time away from all forms of media. Breathe. Connect with what is life-giving here and now. Notice the kindness of strangers. 

If you are in need of connecting with others, I invite you to
  • This evening, join me at our current meeting space at United Lutheran Church at 6:30pm for an hour of reflection and sharing. You are welcome to stay and listen to the choir rehearsal following or join me for smaller prayerful reflection.
  • Come tomorrow (Thursday) at 7pm for a second gathering for reflection and sharing. 
  • On Saturday from 10 am - 2 pm, join me and Marsha Borders at the long-planned Chicago Area UU Council's workshop "Sustenance for the Work of our Hands" at Countryside UU Church (1025 N Smith St in Palatine). If you wish to come, please register at
  • Also this Saturday 8:30am-noon, join Rev. Colleen Vahey and several other members at the Community Renewal Society"s Annual Membership Assembly at St Agatha's Church (3147 W Douglas in Chicago)
  • Join us in worship on Sundays - this Sunday I will be in the pulpit, Rev. Emily Gage will provide the story and in lieu of a reading, board member Rob Bellmar will share our new mission and goals.
  • Come to Mindful Meditation on Tuesdays facilitated by Terry Kinsey
This month, given that our theme is STORY, is a time to share stories of resilience. It is also a time to open our hearts to hear the stories of those who have a different perspective than our own. It is a time to cultivate empathy and build relationships. 

This is a time to practice mindfulness, especially when fear threatens to consume. During this campaign, we have witnessed a great deal of xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia and racial bigotry. 

It is essential to remember that we are not alone-and we are not powerless, especially when connected with others. Each of us can contribute to creating the kind of world that we want to see. We can respond to pain and suffering with compassion. And we have plenty of learning opportunities and teaching opportunities if we take the time to discern them.

Here at Unity Temple, we will continue to call for empathy, to affirm the worth and dignity of every individual, to seek equity, compassion, and justice in human relations, and to contribute to building the beloved community in our midst and beyond our walls. 

Last night and this morning, as I walked and reflected on the present moment, I became aware of the tremendous love that we have in our congregation and the deep love I have for you - this community.  I am thankful to serve you, in both good times and bad. This is a traumatic time for so many in our community. Join us this evening if you want a place to go. Come worship on Sunday. Walk with us and others committed to the values we hold dear.

Love with Courage,
Rev. Alan Taylor
Readings for your reflection - for our Wednesday Reflections:  


You do not need to know precisely what is happening or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and the challenges offered by the present moment and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.
- Thomas Merton
It is a cry from the lives of people battered
By thoughless words and brutal deeds;
It comes from the lips of those who speak them,
And the lives of those who do them.
Who of us can look inside another and know what is there
Of hope and hurt, or promise and pain?
Who can know from what far places each has come
Or to what far places each may hope to go?
Our lives are like fragile eggs.
They crack and the sbustance escapes.
Handle with care!
Handle with exceedingly tender care
For there are human beings within,
Human beings as vulnerable as we are,
Who feel as we feel,
Who hurt as we hurt.
Life is to transient to be cruel with one another;
It is too short for thoughtlessness,
Too brief for hurting.
Life is long enough for caring,
It is lasting enough for sharing,
Precious enough for love.
Be gentle with one another.
- "Gentleness in Living" by Richard S Gilbert 

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