Minister’s Musings


I’m reminded of a Facebook meme a friend posted the other day. It showed a Windows Computer Screen with an error message.

“2021 Critical System Error. Please Turn Off Year and Reboot.”

That’s the way I’ve been feeling about the last week. I’m smart enough to know that January 1st is not a magical day that resets everything and transforms the world around us, wipes clear the wrongs, and starts us off with a blank slate. And yet… and yet… part of me wants to believe that. Part of me wanted to believe that. It’s part of the myth and magic of the New Year. Alas… reality is otherwise. I hope you have been taking extra care of yourself and those around you this past week. Get more sleep. Eat healthy food. Get outside for some fresh air. Drink plenty of water. And… as hard as it may be… take a break from the news and the glowing screens.

Our Democracy survived a major attack from within. As bad as it was, and it was certainly quite shocking and disturbing, it could have been a lot worse. And while it was shocking, I hope it wasn’t surprising. As I said in Sunday’s service, this whole year has been a series of wake-up calls. If we weren’t paying attention, we certainly are now. There is a lot of work to be done in the next year. Maybe that was the real gift on New Year’s Eve. 2021 didn’t hand us a clean slate; it handed us a box of tools and cleaning agents and said, “Let’s get busy.”


The Unitarian in our faith’s name is not about being united, though some folks believe that. It refers to our religious ancestors’ “heretical” lack of belief in the Christian trinity. We don’t talk about that much these days. And so it would seem natural for us to focus instead on unity. We do seek to build the Beloved Community. We affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of all people (and perhaps all beings). So, why not join the many calls for unifying our country?

Our country has been divided for many years. It is probably more divided now than it has been since the Civil War. This is not a natural state. The division and animosity was slowly and deliberately fostered by people who saw it as a way to gain political and economic power. And now, we are at a tipping point. The armed insurrection by domestic terrorists (our own citizens) shows how deep and how dangerous the divide has become. It is a great time to work on unifying the country. It is high time we worked to close that divide. However, like all wounds, true healing does not occur by ignoring the issues laid bare or by covering it up so we can’t see it. Untreated wounds do not heal; they fester and become toxic. And so, it’s time we started treating these deep wounds in the soul of our country. Let’s look at our racism and our economic injustices and our ailing democracy with clear, honest eyes. Let’s admit our mistakes, offer our apologies and reparations as needed, and start over. That’s how healing works. That’s how you unify a people, a country divided. Those who have done damage need to accept responsibility for, or be held accountable for, the harm they have caused.

Forgiveness is a spiritual practice. But so is Repentance. I’m ready for both.
Then we’ll work on Unity.

That’s how I see it, anyway. You might have a different view. And I’m OK with that, too.

Cooperatively and Hopefully,

Rev. Craig