Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, Blogger, Speaker

#MeToo at The Unitarian Church in Westport


#MeToo at the Unitarian Church in Westport

Sanctuary of The Unitarian Church in Westport, CT where we held a #MeToo service today.

Sanctuary of The Unitarian Church in Westport, CT where we held a #MeToo service today. The pic was in summer!

This morning’s service was prepared and presented by women who have formed a #MeToo Task Force at our church.

In December our minister, Rev. Dr. John Morehouse, preached on the issue of #MeToo. He began by speaking about Anita Hill.

You can read the text at the church website. I wanted to give you the video too, and usually I can embed a video link so it appears here, but it didn’t work this time. Here’s the link to the video of the sermon. There are several sermons; you have to choose Dec. 17.

Rev. Morehouse said, “As the father of five daughters, I have come to learn what respect looks like and even then, I act patriarchally and I have still much to learn. Humility will go a long way here.”

Later in the service that day, women who felt so inclined were invited to come forward, drop salt crystals into a bowl of water, and watch them dissolve. Many women did.

The national statistic on the percent of women who have suffered some form of sexual injustice or abuse may be as high as 40%. I would guess that close to that number came forward, proclaiming themselves part of #MeToo.

Today’s #MeToo Service

This morning’s service included testimonies from three women, several poems and readings, and completely appropriate music. I was part of the choir singing “The Size of Your Heart,” by Deirdre O’Donnelly, and  Carolyn McDade’s “Coming Home.”

We also heard one man and one woman speak on “Individual Intent.” Rev. John closed the service with these words, “We have done this work together.”

There will be more on the topic, for sure.

We were asked to fill out a questionnaire, asking what one thing we could do this week to advance the conversation on #MeToo.” I committed to writing about it here!

Do you have stories or impressions to share about #MeToo?

Edict of Torda

“The 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda in 2018 marks a foundational moment for liberal religion.” This is the subtitle of Eric Cherry’s article about the Edict in the UU online magazine.

A popular nineteenth-century depiction of Transylvanian Unitarian Francis Dávid (1510–1579) at the Diet of Torda in 1568.

He included this wonderful picture. It is a “popular nineteenth-century depiction of Transylvanian Unitarian Francis Dávid (1510–1579) at the 1568 Diet of Torda, by Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch (1896).” It comes from the UUA (Unitarian Universalist archives, with permission.

Most American Unitarian-Universalists have not heard of the Edict of Torda. I knew of it because our Chamber Choir traveled to Transylvania many years ago. We were introduced to Francis David and the Edict on that trip. How the Edict came about, and the role of several important people, is told in Eric’s article.

Eric writes, “There is so much that the Edict of Torda points to that our tradition continues to rely upon: the grounding commitment that faith is not endowed with purpose by governments or empires, but by the Sacred, the Holy; that a free pulpit and a free pew are necessities for free religious communities; even the stirrings of our commitment to resist authoritarianism as a religious practice is signaled in the Edict.”

Injustice Anywhere and Everywhere

One of my book groups has decided to read Killers of the Flower Moon, The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, by David Grann.

Dan Woog, our faithful Westport blogger, wrote about the book and its author. He said the book, “explores tragic, mysterious murders in Oklahoma in the 1920s and ’30s, and the investigation that followed.”

Dan has to find a Westport connection to include a story. David Grann attended our town high school. Dan concludes, “Staples graduates do amazing things. Each one has quite a story.

“And some — like David Grann — spend their lives telling compelling stories to the rest of us.”

I look forward to reading the book. Have you read it?

The Nigerian Economy Looking Up?

Ambassador John Campbell wrote a hopeful piece about the Nigerian economy this week. Economic growth is projected at 3.5% in 2018.

There are caveats. He said, “If international oil prices hold at their present level or increase, and if production levels can be maintained, the economic growth projections are credible.”

I certainly hope the oil price stays at its current level or goes up. I don’t love higher gas prices when I’m filling my tank, but I rejoice when I see them!

Author: Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, blogger, speaker. Born in New York, grew up in mid west United States, lived in Nigeria for 24 years, back in U.S. since 1986. Advocate for racial justice.

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