This month we have been exploring the spiritual theme of empower, one of six words in the OUUC mission statement to welcome and wonder, embrace and empower, bridge and become.
To empower is simply to share our power. So, to empower we must understand our power. In the service on February 13, I spoke of the Wheel of Power and Privilege created by Sylvia Duckworth. This suggests that we have more power when our identities are closer to the cultural norms and less when we are on the margins. For many of us, we have identities that hold some power and others that hold less. All of us have power in some way.
What power do you have? How do you use your power?
One of the ways that OUUC as an organization has power is with our financial resources. OUUC has an endowment fund that many have donated to over the years and that is building up toward a goal of $500,000. We’re almost there. That’s half a million dollars. We are well off as a congregation.
A few years ago, congregational leaders decided to invest the endowment funds in the Unitarian Universalist Endowment Fund (UUCEF) through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). UUCEF pools the endowment funds from many congregations to fund projects in line with our UU values, with an emphasis on empowering those on the margins. The funds that we are keeping for when we need them are doing good in the world. We are using our power for good. There’s more information about the endowment fund and other OUUC Board priorities in today’s Spark.
Last Sunday, we used our individual and collective power to grieve together. The power of lamentation. What power to howl together as we mourned all that we have lost.
This coming Sunday I’ll speak about the Empowerment Controversy in the UUA in 1969 that upended race relations and reverberates through to today.
As we end this month of spiritual reflection, I invite you to consider your power and how you can empower others.
Blessings on your week.