Radical Leadership

Radical leadership: To truly embrace resistance (to fascism and far right ideology), we must be willing to welcome radical leadership. Not “radical”, the noun. I mean “radical”, the adjective. Radical, meaning essential, fundamental and profound: a model that fully embraces the ideology of being broad-minded, open to new opinions and ideas, willing to discard outdated modes of thinking and acting. Radical leadership elevates the voices of others; making space as we learn and practice how to stand together—when it’s uncomfortable, even when we’re unsure of the outcome. Becca Balint is the Majority Leader in the Vermont State Senate and represents Windham County. She was just re-elected to her fourth term and is poised to become the first woman to become Senate President Pro Tempore and the first openly gay person to lead either legislative chamber.

UU Strategies for Foxholes

This week a friend reminded me of the saying, “there are no atheists in foxholes.” 2020 has felt like a year of being in a foxhole, with nightmare scenarios pressing in from a range of existential disasters: a global health pandemic, pervasive structural racism, climate change exacerbated wildfire and hurricane seasons and political brinksmanship that feels just a step away from civil war.

In this service I will build on thoughts that emerged from the early October RExploration, where we talked about whether Hope is a necessary ingredient to managing through a crisis. What touchstones or tools can keep us going if Hope seems elusive or truly is no longer present? Where do we draw the presence of mind and heart to place one foot in front of the other in those situations.

Needless to say, you should not come to this service expecting clear answers to these questions. But, with readings and poetry and a few reflections, I imagine we can connect, exchange stories and thoughts, and provide support for each other from our socially distant Zoom box foxholes.

Gaye Symington lives in Jericho and has been a member of MMUUF since 1993. She is the lead staff of the Burlington-based High Meadows Fund which provides grants, mission-focused investments, and collaborative thinking to promote a healthy natural environment and long-term economic vitality in Vermont. And she hoping to shake off a masochistic habit of signing up to lead the first service after a presidential election two cycles in a row.

Engage or Shelter?

In this service, Dana Baron will explore the role of our spiritual community in addressing the social and political chaos that is unfolding around us. Many of our members and friends are taking action individually, but is there or should there be a role for our Fellowship as a whole? Should we engage in the struggle collectively? Or should our Fellowship provide shelter – spiritual, emotional, and even physical – from the storm? Dana Baron is a long-time member of MMUUF and has served in many roles. Now retired, he has recently moved from Essex to Shelburne with his wife Karen. For the time being, services will be exclusively held virtually via Zoom. Please email info@mmuuf.org for how to join!