Society of the Vav

Be a Vavnik, harnessing your transformational power of connection, creating change for the good of all

Beloved Conversations & UUFB

  1. 1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  2. 2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  3. 3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  4. 4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  5. 5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  6. 6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  7. 7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part LOVE the stranger as your Self as once you were a stranger in a narrow place.



When I was asked last fall to be one of the co-facilitators of one group of Beloved Conversations, I was thrilled, so excited I was getting to do some work around racism, I wrote to all my friends of color celebrating this threshold I was going to cross.

Thresholds are interesting, you often know where you are and where you have been and yet you have no idea – as much as you dream and imagine-what the other side looks like.  I remember Abraham told he was going to leave everything he knew and he would be a blessing, I know once I crossed that threshold I did not cross it alone. I had the UU curriculum for Fah and I had James my co-facilitator and the breath of All Life had my back.

you asking me to speak today

Welcoming congregation; beloved conversation, murders at Pulse and memorial service for the Charleston Nine murdered in their place of worship

Faith is taking the first step even when you cannot see the whole staircase, MLK jr  and because of big assumptions…if I do this that will happen… that we do not take the first step…it si because of our single story that we stop short not able to expand our single story of what we know to learn.

Secrets make us sick, secrets are stories we tell our self that we think keep us safe when they only inhibit our soul from growing into what it took life for

The core of which is Love, self-love, based on our inherent goodness DO YOU ALSO YEARN TO ACCEPT AND LOVE YOURSELF

The 8 session began with a workshop where we were asked to focus on tow ideas

I have been involved in several diversity workshops and other voices programs and this really brought it home to me

My big assumptions that I have been fed by the media and I have not be abel to get out of my

Beloved conversations begin with me:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: gave us several examples:

  1. every body has single stories about everything, it is not a good or bad thing  it just is the way the mind works and if we are not awake enough to challenge the single story we are stuck in old news, and being run by a mind that does not want to grow, one night a woman of color looked at us and said; why do you hate me… or the day we did the line of privilege and the white people saw they were out front of the people fo color in terms of priviliege
  2. The competing commitments and big assumptions

If there is hands on I am OK and if not among all the energy in the room, I was at a loss

And not until now preparing for this talk was I able to see my single story; I did not even see my white privilege the way I needed to in order to develop a relationship

Also I had no idea the depth of the resilience of the people of color and how they have learned to function, survive and achieve despite the color of their skin that white people think is a hindrance.

Here in UU world we are pulled together facing our big assumptions

Lost in translation: some things cannot

have words with it for the words will never get across the emotion of intimacy


When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.

Communication works for those who work at it

I will share some of my experiences and learning having co-facilitated one of the Beloved Conversations groups this Winter and relate them to our principles.



Beloved Conversations begins with me

I learned much about myself and the spiritual work of anti-racism/anti-oppression work as acts of faith formation.

And all of our work is fostered by each of the Living Principles.  As someone new to UU life, i learned what draws people to UU congregations 

and began deepening my committments to the community and my part in changing the world.


I stand here as a rabbi, teacher of Hebrew Torah written and oral and a member of a Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Beaufort.

Dumb founded by the pain and chaos in the world

And although there is much fear around us and we are not breathing deeply enough to move the fear through our bodies – we are stuck in survival breathing that goes no further than our clavicle

I am asking you to put your feet on the floor and hands in your lap or on your thighs and breathe deeply with me, opening up your heart to possibilities.


I had not been a member or be coming to services for a very long time when I was asked to be a co-facilitor, I was so excited and yet I did not realize that my work would be both with my co-facilator and myself