The Ohio River Group is a Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Study group that meets annually near the Ohio River Valley to hear scholarly papers and hold discussion on a different topic each year. In 2014, the topic was “Race.” Given the events of the summer in Ferguson, Missouri, the group members spent an evening at their meeting discussing resources for worship services on the topic. These readings represent their personal selections for what they might do in a worship service devoted to Ferguson and racial justice, and they want to share them with other UU congregations.
DOWNLOAD the resources (PDF)
The Board of Trustees of the MidAmerica Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association issues the following statement in response to the call from our MidAmerica congregations and their ministers in the greater Saint Louis area.
Our deep theology as a justice-seeking people calls upon us to engage this major civil rights work. We, the members of the MidAmerica board, are deeply committed to the work of anti-oppression, anti-racism, and multiculturalism. We stand on the side of love with the people of Ferguson as they seek justice in the case of the death of Michael Brown.
We see what is happening in Ferguson as part of a larger issue in our Region and all of America. It is about dehumanization, about racism, and about injustice. We note that we are all currently affected by the same culture of fear of difference that festers in Ferguson.
We encourage Unitarian Universalist congregations and religious leaders in the MidAmerica Region to engage thoughtfully in the suggestions for action put forward by the Ferguson Response team of Saint Louis area ministers and Unitarian Universalist Association and UU Service Committee leaders. Some resources can be found on the Standing on the Side of Love web page, www.standingonthesideoflove.org/blog/withferguson, as well as the St. Louis Standing on the Side of Love Facebook page www.facebook.com/stlstandingonthesideoflove.
Rev. Dr. Bill Sasso, President,
Charlotte Preston, Vice President
Eric Huffer, Secretary
Tom Sommerfeld, Treasurer
Doug Cauble, Trustee
Janis Cheney, Trustee
Kyrie Bock, Trustee
Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum, Trustee
Dave Martin, Trustee
Rev. Ian Evison, ex-officio
We’ve been asked to post this message from the Ferguson Response Team, which includes UU ministers in St. Louis, as well as UUA staff and other UU leaders. If you are looking for ways to respond, to support those working for justice in Ferguson, or to learn more about the situation there, please read this message and share it with others in your congregation.
Dear UU Leader:
People around the country are preparing for the prosecuting attorney to announce the grand jury's decision whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
Indications point to a grand jury announcement soon, possibly between Election Day and Thanksgiving. An indictment is extremely unlikely, but whatever it is, whenever it is, there will be much pain and anger that will be expressed in a variety of ways, some constructive and some not.
Our deep theology as a justice-seeking people calls upon us to show up for this. Many of you have asked what you can do. We urge you to help us to SHOW UP in any of the following ways: (And remember: the most current information will be found on the Standing on the Side of Love Ferguson page.)