Message from the Minister

— by William Levwood, UUCT Minister

Disasters Can Be Good Dirt for Growing Beloved Community

“The map of utopias is cluttered nowadays with experiments by other names, and the very idea is expanding. It needs to open up a little more to contain disaster communities. These remarkable societies suggest that, just as many machines reset themselves to their original settings after a power outage, human beings reset themselves to something altruistic, communitarian, resourceful and imaginative after a disaster, that we revert to something we already know how to do. The possibility of paradise is already within us as a default setting.” ― Rebecca Solnit, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
In the wake of Hurricane Michael, it is good to be reminded about the best in human nature. Disasters happen. And when they happen, what matters is how we respond. Do we bond together to make common cause for the common good? Or do we set up opposing camps that push forward an agenda that only benefits our group or our viewpoint? Either can happen. Both have happened. Rebecca Solnit’s study of how communities have responded to major disasters shows that more often than not, human beings rise to the occasion, showing up for the good of the whole. In disasters, more often than not, human beings lean into the better angels of our nature.

In the wake of Hurricane Michael,
In the disasters in our own personal lives,
In the disasters that haven’t happened yet,
May we show up with altruism, resourcefulness, and imagination,
As together, step by step, we nurture beloved community,
As together we commit to transforming disaster into paradise on earth.

Sermons given by our Minister, William Levwood, can be found on the Worship Recordings Page.

This message was published in the October 21- November 3, 2018 issue of The Meridian.