Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Back in January, Guest Minister Rev. Chuck Freeman gave us one of his rousing sermons, titled “Coming Out Of The Closet For Reproductive Justice”. In it, he lamented how the popular conception of reproductive health, as it relates to religion and spirituality, has been co-opted by the extreme end of the religious spectrum. These extreme voices may be few, but they are are loud, often drowning out the religious progressives that have always existed and spoken their truth. As he concluded, Rev. Freeman urged us all to embrace the Reproductive Justice Congregation designation, a project of Just Texas and the Texas Freedom Network that aims to connect and amplify Texas faith voices for reproductive justice. Nowadays it can be easy for us to feel alone in our values; we’re all too aware of politicians who cater to the religious far right, voting for bills that effectively ban abortion, make it more difficult to receive reproductive healthcare, or generally take away the right of women to choose what they can do with their own bodies. Legislation that has recently come out of Alabama, Missouri, Ohio, and our own state of Texas is a testament to this phenomenon. But isn’t it past time that politicians catered to us religious progressives as well?
Together we can have a strong, clear voice, rising above the cacophony that has long dominated the narrative around reproductive health. Bringing these voices together is the mission of organizations like the Texas UU Justice Ministry, Texas Impact, and now Just Texas in their sponsorship of the Reproductive Justice Congregation designation. The overlap in these organizations illustrates how all issues of faith and justice are interlinked: reproductive justice is LGBTQ justice is economic justice is racial justice. After all, the very term “reproductive justice” was coined by women of color, women who are intimately acquainted with the ways in which systemic control, over groups of people and their bodies, has led to systemic racism and inequality. On June 9th, UUCBV will have the opportunity to hear more about the network of Reproductive Justice Congregations in Texas. These congregations are engaged in education and advocacy around individual conscience, bodily autonomy, and religious freedom when it comes to reproductive health, and I’m excited to learn from their example. With multiple levels of engagement, this project offers multiple ways to participate in the growing symphony of voices that are creating change in Texas.
MSJE News and Events
Reproductive Justice Congregation speaker
What would it mean for UUCBV to become a Reproductive Justice Congregation? Stay after the service on Sunday, June 9th, to hear from Sonja Miller with the Texas Freedom Network about how congregations throughout Texas are embracing this designation, and how we can join them! Reproductive Justice Congregations pledge to: trust and respect women, promise that women who attend services will be free from shame or judgment for their reproductive decisions, and proclaim that access to affordable reproductive health services is a moral and social good.
Learn more: http://justtx.org/congregation
UUCBV purchased a table at the annual NAACP dinner to support their good work. Di d you know that one of the founders of the NAACP was Mary Ovington, a white Unitarian?
Split the Plate for June
During the month of June, half of your cash donations will go to the Transgender Education Network of Texas (http://transtexas.org). This organization is dedicated to furthering gender diverse equality in Texas through education and networking in both public and private forums. They work to end discrimination through social, legislative, and corporate education.
Check back for updates on our July Split the Plate recipient.
Summer meetings of the Ministry for Social Justice and the Earth
We will not hold our regular MSJE meeting for the month of June - I invite everyone to attend our Reproductive Justice Congregation presentation on June 9th instead!
We expect to hold our next meeting on July 14th, in the Hillel Board Room behind the Sanctuary at 12pm. As always, all are welcome! Grab a bite and join us in planning social justice opportunities for UUCBV.