2021 What a year!!!

The pandemic continues.  Many of our UU congregations have returned to in-person services only to have to close their doors again. This morning, a google search revealed an alarming 803,000 US souls have died due to the virus.  And still, some folks in our country don’t seem to understand the threat.

The democracy we dream of within our UU circles is barely holding on.  The US Congress continues to investigate the invasion of the Capital last January.  In Pennsylvania, the Republicans are trying to change our state constitution so that fair elections will become an old memory.  Depression and loneliness are becoming national epidemics alongside Covid-19 and its variants.  Where do we find the peace and hope of the holiday winter season amid all this chaos?

It’s hard, and yet, we must.  In talking with a PA House Representative last week, she said the two political parties are about as far apart as they ever have been.  But we are at the turning point; the pendulum will swing back.  I hope and pray she is correct.

The news from Washington is astonishing.  How close we came to having a dictator (and not a very smart one) in charge of our country makes me want to cry.  And the fact that 70 of our PA legislators were willing to go along with the non-certification plan makes me angry.  And the madder I get, the harder I work.

UUJusticePA is here in Harrisburg to continue to call them out.  To continue to sound the alarm on all of our justice issues and beyond.  The work keeps me hopeful.  

I have learned so much since I’ve come to Harrisburg.  I use new technological skills in my work every day.  I’m learning how our government works.  I’m learning fascinating facts about our history, both good and bad.  And, of course, the racism and white supremacy that continues to influence the lives of all Americans from the original indigenous peoples, the African slaves and their ancestors, the waves of immigrants who continue to come here seeking the dream, and the hierarchy of power ingrained in all of us

All of this leads me to say it is not democracy we are trying to save, but the dream of democracy-- The vision of a welcoming, inclusive country that thrives because of our loving, generous, and caring shared values.

We are far away from that dream.  But the dream inspires me to keep going. Knowing that leaders have shared this vision throughout our history, hearing their stories, and learning about their achievements helps me keep pushing for the dream.

So that’s my message in this winter holiday season of reflection and hope.  We must keep striving for the dream.  

May your holidays be a time to rest, filled with loving interactions with family and friends, and may the peace of this season of generosity melt the hearts of our corrupt leaders so that democracy becomes a reality in our state and our nation.

Holding ground in our faith and moving justice forward in PA,
Rev. Joan



c/o Unitarian Church of Harrisburg

1280 Clover Lane, Harrisburg, PA 17113


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