March Circles – Let’s take a Walk on the Dark Side
Posted by Rev Lucy
Posted on March 5, 2017
We are more than halfway through our circles for this church year. I hope that you are feeling connected with others in your circle, and deepening your own spirituality. I heard from some of you that last month’s topic was challenging but worthwhile. For March our topic is a bit less personal, but no less difficult. We are going to spend time considering evil and fear.
The word evil is being bandied about in the media, in conversation, in public discourse. As people of faith it is important for us to contemplate what makes something evil – can a person be evil or just an act? Or even if the concept of evil has any meaning for us. In our first session we will read some perspective about evil from UU leaders, and then ponder and share our own thoughts. UUs have been criticized for not having a clear theology of evil – that our view of human nature is too rosy and unrealistic. I offer you two supplemental readings that address this issue. The first is from the UU magazine the World, published in 2002 in response to the 9/11 terrorist attached. The second supplemental reading is a sermon that our senior minister Roger Jones gave last year. You can also listen to Roger’s sermon on our web site if that is easier for you.
In our second session we will name and share our fears. The supplemental reading I have chosen on this theme is by Neil Shister – the Fear Patrol. This was written in 2004, right before the election that year, and speaks to fear mongering in a way that is very relevant for our time. In his essay, he speaks about the importance of naming our fears:.
“What’s most debilitating about our fears isn’t that we don’t talk much about them. It’s that our fears damage us before we even recognize they are there. Whether they are internal, rooted in long-ago personal experiences burrowed deep in psychic space, or external, drilled into us by powerful forces aimed at creating collective anxiety, our fears almost always wear disguises. Many people who deal with fear’s consequences—counselors, ministers, sociologists—express a shared urgency that few tasks are more important to our spiritual and political well-being than unmasking fear and charting the territory it so vigorously patrols.”
My hope is that by sharing our fears with each other, we will take away some of their power and build enduring connections that will uplift us and sustain us.
Have a great month. Your feedback is always appreciated.