Happy Holydays! In the month of December, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas and Kwanzaa will be celebrated. The diversity of traditions celebrated in the month of December is truly amazing. What is diversity? Is it as simple as being open to celebrating the holiday tradition of a friend? Perhaps, educating people of different religious traditions and ethnicities to better understand each other? Or, does it go deeper into all aspects and areas of our lives? According to William Chase,
“Diversity, generally understood and embraced, is not casual liberal tolerance of anything and everything not yourself. It is not polite accommodation.
Instead, diversity is, in action, the sometimes painful awareness that other people, other races, other voices, other habits of mind, have as much integrity of being, as much claim on the world as you do…
And I urge you, amid all the differences present to the eye and mind, to reach out to create the bond that …will protect us all. We are meant to be here together.”
I encourage you to make a special effort to learn and embrace a holiday tradition that is unfamiliar to you. I also encourage you to reach out to family and friends who may be struggling to be joyful during a time of year when we are expected to be jolly. For Youth and Young Adults of Color who are interested, I have a list of UU ministers and religious professionals of color who are willing to provide chaplain support during the holidays. Please contact me for a list of their names.
I wish you all a safe, serene and happy holiday season.
Living My Faith,
Pastoral Message, December 2009