Reaction to the Insurrection

What a time we live in!
I speak to you today as minister of the UUF.  I speak to you as my friends, as my Beloveds, as a community striving to be both a force for social justice and a safe haven. 
Today, we may be uncertain how to be either.  In the last day, we have witnessed events that many of us may have found unimaginable.  While others had imagined them all too accurately–though none of us from any social location were fully prepared.  In the wake of yesterday’s events, we are overwhelmed with emotion–anger, fear, uncertainty, frustration.  And maybe–given results in Georgia, and the certification of the election, and the reactions in some quarters to the insurrection–we may even feel some encouragement, some sense of a turning tide, some hope. 
Van Jones, a man I have admired ever since he gave the UU Ware Lecture in 2008, offered words of wisdom yesterday.   He said, “We don’t know what we are looking at yet.  Is this the end of something or the beginning of something?  Are we seeing the death throes of something ugly in our country, desperate, about to go away … or is this the birth pangs of a worse disorder?  That’s where we are right now.”
In community organizing, I learned that we have to keep a vision of two worlds–the world as it is and the world as it should be.  We must be hard-eyed realists about the world as it is–we have to see its pitfalls along with its beauty, its injustice along with its kindness, its flaws side by side with the awe it evokes.  And to see the world as it should be, we must have a great imagination.  We must suppress the urge to say, “It can’t be.” We must see the impossible and name it as what we want to make real.  We must be the greatest idealists to set our sights so high. 
I’ll speak more about the tensions between these worlds on Sunday, as I tackle the topic of the Great Reset [Sunday, January 10, 10:30 am]–how these times–pandemic times, times of economic and social crisis–could reshape our world.
Contact Rev Jonalu Johnstone at

Leave a Reply