This was the sermon created for the Canadian Unitarian Universalist Association (CUUWA) 2021 International Women’s Day Service.
Backdrop: Pandemic year; mass femicide event in Nova Scotia; videoed murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis; critical learning moments.
Critical questions: Where does the “authority” for policing originate? Why do all of the systemic ism’s persist so tenaciously?
Theological question: Can persons of faith be a part of dismantling “ism’s” effectively without understanding historical complicity of religious authority with structural oppression?
Methodology question: Are there “hot topics” that present challenges in exploring racial justice with many white Canadians? Some “hot topics”: “that’s a USA problem”; we were the “receiving” end of the Underground Railroad, we didn’t have plantations of slaves.” And, beliefs such as: “I didn’t learn about issues of indigenous concerns when I was in school, everything is better now, let’s just get on with it.”
Is it possible to create an “opening” for a new understanding of how the “now” invisible tendrils of structure set in motion in the 1400’s keep the moral authority/governmental authority of oppression in place? In Canada, the US, the Caribbean, Central and South America?
Caution: alert… violence depicted. White privilege assumes looking away
Limitation: this is not the “whole history” Focus on a deeper understanding and narrative of the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ and see if that adds, subtracts, and changes your understanding of “history”.
Follow-up: The IWD service is available for use in congregations, study groups, and individual exploration. Packets with “links for further exploration for each of the 4 D’s are being developed.
Text created by Rev. Kathy Sage, (she/her) retired Unitarian Universalist minister who engaged the Art/Animation and collaboration of Ilara Stefaniuk-Gaudet (They/Them), Director of Religious Education Westwood Unitarian Congregation, Edmonton. When showing this video in worship and educational settings please consider additional compensation for their work: www.patreon.com/ilara11
Watch the four in this order (about 20 minutes total)
For more information about how to use the 2021 CUUWA International Women’s Day service which featured Dreaming, Demystifying, Decolonizing, Devoting, see this page.