Decentering Privilege to Find Our Center

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Message by Rev. Michelle Scott-Huffman

Several First UU members participated in the Springfield NAACP MLK Day March on Monday. The march is an outward expression of support for tangible action that leads to racial equity and justice. The hope is that we will be inspired to do something every day that helps us bring our community closer to that equity and justice. The work is both internal and external. Our opening reading today is from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail:

History is the long and tragic story of the fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups are more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have never yet engaged in a direct-action movement that was “well timed” according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “wait.” It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This “wait” has almost always meant “never.” It has been a tranquilizing thalidomide, relieving the emotional stress for a moment, only to give birth to an ill-formed infant of frustration. We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

Moment of Perspective – Anti-Racism and Talking About Race – AJ Fox

We’ll Build a Land
Congregational Hymn
Words: Barbara Zanotti
Music: Carolyn McDade
Arr: Betsy Jo Angebranndt
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One More Step
Congregational Hymn
Words and Music: Joyce Poley
Harmony by Grace Lewis-McLaren
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Love and Joy
Words and Music: John Prescott
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Categories: Sermon