The Listening Booth

“The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, so that when the battle is over, a new relationship comes into being between the oppressed and the oppressor.” 

Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1960

Brave, compassionate, truth-loving citizens,

Our hopes of 2021 being quickly so much better than 2020 have been, well, compromised. I write this to you before the inauguration of our 46th President, and after the insurrection by white supremacist terrorists at the U.S. Capitol. It has been difficult to find our footing amid all this unrest, with so many threats to our national peace and constitutional order. Despite these trials, and perhaps in response to them, one thing has become clearer than ever to me. That this congregation is a necessary part of the public sphere to help establish peace and justice for all throughout our republic, beginning here in Essex County, NJ.

The story of UUCM remains a story of an institution vital for a stronger, more hopeful society. One hundred years ago our forebears rebuilt this congregation after a pandemic and a fire – adding Fletcher Hall, the Alliance Room, and our kitchen when they did so. Today, we are busy rebuilding our congregation so it can serve our mission for the next Century. Our upgrades are not solely cameras and technology, but also in how we organize for justice and in how we train, support and nurture leaders. Building the Beloved Community is an arduous and generational task. But as recent events have shown, to not stay engaged with our donations of time, talent and treasure will only perpetuate and embolden forces of hate and violence. Good people of UUCM ~ it is a pleasure beyond measure to serve this institution, a bastion of love, truth, and true patriotism.

In Love and Beloved Toil,

Reverend Scott Sammler-Michael