See the PrairieUU Calendar for Justice League meetings MUUved to Action meetings and Service Sunday details.
I am writing to you today on behalf of the Justice League and want to ask you to take time to reframe and re-envision what have been our annual Thanksgiving traditions. We have been blessed that our faith and Prairie’s commitment to racial justice and living into our shared principles, has helped us to at long last hear the stories and examine the injustices faced by our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC) siblings. They are (and have been) saying that the ways we have been thinking about and sharing Thanksgiving traditions erase the existence of Indigenous Peoples and ignores a painful history. It’s important that we acknowledge all the ways that UUs and many of our ancestors made sure that this was the case.
Some of us, inspired by Rev. Clyde Grubbs’ talk during Colorado UUs for Racial Justice’s BIPoC speaker series, made time to attend the Harvest the Power Justice Convergence and Teach-in hosted by the UU Ministry for Earth, the UU Service Committee, and the UUA. It has been eye-opening and thought-provoking. I cannot encourage you strongly enough to take the time to watch some of the recordings. Most notably the Worship Service: Thanksgiving Reframed, which includes some powerful and moving music from Ta’Kaiya Blaney, Lyla June and Taboo, Illuminative and Mag 7 and an inspiring and beautiful sermon from UUA President Susan-Frederick Gray.
There are still opportunities to watch some of the films (Gather (password: Gather2020) and We Still Live Here: Âs Nutayuneân (password: wslh9uumfe9) and to participate tomorrow in the 51st Annual National Day of Mourning at 10 am with our UU siblings around the country as we bear witness to the pain our ancestors have caused Indigenous people.
Like me, you may have not known that at the 2016 General Assembly, a commitment was made to Reconsider Thanksgiving as this year marks the 400th anniversary of the beginning of colonization. UUs throughout our faith were asked to enter a time of education, careful reflection, and healing in addition to committing to dialogue with their local Native people. While many of us heard the powerful story of Susie Sliversmith’s heartbreak surviving the Government Boarding School, this is just a beginning.
For these reasons and many more, the Justice League will be asking the Board and the congregation to consider adopting a resolution that Prairie would no longer celebrate Thanksgiving in the ways we have but instead follow through to develop relationships with our local Indigenous community and commit to reparations in an effort to heal our relationships with them. Coloradoan UUs in particular have harmed Native Americans in ways that demand our deep understanding and compassion. Please contact the Justice League if you have any questions or suggestions.
The holidays at our house are not going at all the way I planned. But, we have been inspired by what we have learned and are determined to create new traditions that align with our values. I am so grateful for each of you. I look forward to our continuing conversations.
If you are able, please consider making a generous donation to the Create Climate Justice Indigenous Solidarity Fund and/or the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.
Prairie’s Family Christmas
As is our tradition, Prairie is adopting a family in our community that is in need of support this holiday season. This year we help a family of 7 with close ties to our community. They have faced many challenges from job loss to the difficulties of remote learning while coping with learning differences. Please sign up here to purchase and wrap a gift or make arrangements for someone else to do the shopping and/or wrapping for you. You may drop off gifts at our Open Space (Twenty Mile Rd/Ponderosa Dr) on Sunday, December 13 between 7:30-9:00 am or contact Kim (720) 636-1912 or Melissa (720) 471-0853 to arrange a pick-up. Thank you for your generosity!
UU The Vote
Your help is still needed to ensure that every person in the country is assured that they can vote! Help UU the Vote continue their work, ensuring that voters in Georgia, where a pivotal Senate run-off is scheduled in January, are registered by December 7th and that they feel encouraged to exercise this important right! There is something for each of us to do. Sign up for special UU programming and phone banking. Learn more about encouraging our youth to vote. And/or help spread the word by sending out postcards. Our work will not be over until our communities have what they need!
Harvest the Power Justice Convergence & Teach-in
ONLINE – November 19-26, 2020
Hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Association, UU Ministry for Earth, UUSC, & many partners
In 2016, Unitarian Universalists voted to pay special attention to learning our history and rethinking Thanksgiving in the year 2020, in observance of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing in Plymouth.
Now is an especially good time to gather and to celebrate Thanksgiving differently, given that our usual travels and traditions for the holiday must be put off or canceled because of the global pandemic. Sign up your congregation or community to participate, and help spread the word about the many powerful programs and community documentary film screenings being offered for the Harvest the Power Justice Convergence & Teach-In. VIEW THE SCHEDULE – SIGN UP NOW – HELP SPREAD THE WORD