Posted for Lucy van Tine
November 15, 2016
Dear Sandy and members of the board,
I am looking forward to having our Black Lives Matter sign, our rainbow sign, and a sign in Spanish stating we are a welcoming to our Hispanic neighbors. These must be placed outside of our door in the churchyard immediately in light of the recent political events that have occurred in our country. This is a watershed moment for all of us. Our church included. We must walk our talk and show the most vulnerable in our community that we are willing to be on the front lines for the hatred that has been expressed for them by those who have just assumed the highest office of power.
I have been told that some of our members may be afraid to bring their children to church if we have these signs posted out front. My answer to them would be that we certainly understand their concern. If our own children have to stay at home for a while in order for those kids who really need it, to know that we love them, then our wonderful UUFP kids will certainly understand. Our concerned UU parents can sit down with their children and explain that now is the time to think of our children of color, our Hispanic children, our Muslim children and our LGBTQ children. These kids can never take the sign of who they are indoors. They must go out in the world every day and face it head on. Newport News is home to many of these children and right now a lot of them are feeling very sad, lonely, scared and forgotten. These signs will help them know that there is a church who cares. Even if they never come inside our church, they and their families will know that we are allied to them, by the signs we have out front.
I understand that the Black Lives Matter sign is in the office. I have ordered an outdoor rainbow nylon banner to donate to the fellowship. Maybe our sign to the Hispanic community could be in the form of a welcoming message in Spanish on our signboard out front? We also need to come up with a way to show our Muslim neighbors that we care. I have a button with the word UNITY in the middle and symbols of many religious paths surrounding it. I could probably find a way to make this into a banner as well. Just let me know.
Thank you for helping to create Beloved Community by rising to this challenge.
Lucy van Tine