This fall has been a season of going up against dragons for me. I am not sure how this addresses music, per se, but it definitely relates to our congregational movement toward multicultural transformation. Making the first steps in dismantling white supremacy is a daunting task. Luckily, we are in this together. Recently 50 leaders from our congregation and those in Alamogordo and Silver City gathered to do this work, and to find ways to share it. We did some very deep reflection and listening, and by “we” I refer to those of us who are both white and committed to being allies to People of Color. With expert guidance from Unitarian Universalist Association’s consultant, the Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong, we considered many issues and worked on antidotes to pervasive aspects of white culture. Several of us have answered the call to make sure we continue and expand our work. I trust you will be hearing more about this as the process evolves.
Many of you know that I am very concerned about decisions affecting the local school district’s secondary Advanced Education Services (AES) for Gifted students. Many of our youth have been served by this program over the years and I have been honored to help them as a teacher and, in recent years, as an AES facilitator. I continue to do this work because I am fighting to save this program. It is indeed a social justice issue to make sure our Gifted children—future leaders—get the services they are entitled to. I know a number of you have asked what you can do about it. If you want to know more about the issue and how you can help, I will soon have a fact sheet so please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your good wishes and energy are greatly appreciated.
Now is a very good time to remember Sarah Dan Jones’ lyrics: “When I breathe in, I breathe in peace. When I breathe out, I breathe out love.” Of course, we are planning beautiful music for the winter holidays in December. The Unitarian Universalist season of Chalica (yes, a real holiday!) begins on December 3rd. This year I have it on my calendar, thanks to Rodney Sauter. It lasts for seven days, through the 8th, with an observance each day of one of our principles. There is a funny song on YouTube about it, but this year I plan to take some time to appreciate the strength our faith has to offer, in times of growth and times of standing up to power. So, Happy Chalica!
Catherine A. Massey,
Director of Music
AUUMN Credentialed Music Leader