by Margaret Henderson, Co-President
February’s Focus for the Board of Trustees: Inclusivity A friend of mine who knew calligraphy once made a lovely card for me at this time of year that said, “Tra-la, it’s February, the lusty month of February!” Here’s to the dead of winter!
Hopefully by the time you read this covid numbers will be trending down and the Board will be planning how we can safely re-gather in person on Sunday mornings. In the meantime, we’ve been working on inclusivity. You will soon notice new signs for the restrooms in Fellowship Hall that are more welcoming to people who don’t fit the traditional binary gender categories. This is an example of what happens when we ask, “We say we are a Welcoming Congregation. What is the experience of marginalized individuals when they come to our services?” Seeing restrooms right after you come in that say “Men” and “Women” implies that we think this covers everyone, when we know it doesn’t. One Board member recently described their pain when they saw a special public restroom designated for transgender people with a sign that said, “Please ask for key.” This is how some people come to feel pushed to the margins of our society.
This month several of our greeters from the Membership Team will attend an online UUA workshop on “Widening the Welcome: How to build the beloved community by being inclusive of all.” The goal is to make sure that friends and visitors are receiving our message of welcome when they first enter the door.
The 8th Principle Action Group, which meets on the first Tuesday of each month, is currently exploring two questions: How successfully are we avoiding microaggressions throughout our congregation? And how can we build our skill at de-centering whiteness? Look for discussions on these topics in the upcoming months.
We also continue our work to protect voting rights. Lynn Taborsak is once again coordinating a postcard campaign in conjunction with Common Cause. For details contact Lynn. And see the separate article on page 10 about Saturday morning protests to support the John Lewis Voting Rights Act in Congress.
In other business the Safe Congregations Team is planning a walk-through of our facilities with the police, to make sure we’re doing all we can to protect both people and property.
Finally, I offer my best advice for how to get through February:
- Keep busy
- Look for opportunities to practice compassion
- Eat lots of soup
- Hang on till spring!