About the Author
Rev. Dr. Monica L Cummings

Pastoral Message, February 2012

pic of me with love signHello Family,

When you read or hear someone mention our first Unitarian Universalist Principle, that calls us to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person, do you believe it applies to you also?

I can recall a time during my teens and young adult years when I did not treat myself with worth and dignity.  And while I tried to treat others with worth and dignity, I still caused family and friends emotional pain.  I was recently reminded of that time of my life when I attended a retreat for UU Military Chaplains.

During my undergraduate studies, I joined ROTC and when I graduated I was commissioned as a 2LT in the U.S. Army.  After three years of escaping detection while serving in the Army Reserves, I failed a drug test two days after reporting for active duty and was separated from the Army nine months later.

After the deaths of my parents, those nine months and years to follow until I got clean and sober was the worst time of my life.  Needless to say, treating myself with worth and dignity after throwing away my military career was almost impossible.

Not until I sat in a circle with UU Military Chaplains did I realize that I had healed and forgiven myself for treating myself and the Army with disrespect.

So I ask you, do you treat yourself like you have inherent worth and dignity?  Is there anything you need to forgive yourself for?  What do you need to do to start the process of forgiving yourself?

As always, I would love to hear from you.  You can message me on Facebook at Monica Cummings, email me at mcummings@uua.org or leave a comment for me on the YaYA of Color blog, UU Living Mosaic at http://uuyayaoc.blogs.uua.org/.

I Love You,

Rev. Monica


Pastoral Message, December 2011

Hello Family,

I am sitting in my home office watching squirrels run across cable lines while reflecting on 2011.  Wow, it has been quite a year.  Most notable this past year is the publicity related to teen suicide because of bullying, and the Occupy Movement.

At first glance these topics seem to be unrelated.  However, after digging just a little below the surface, the connection becomes clear.  The common thread that connects the two is abuse of power.  For example, heterosexual youth who use their dominant cultural power to bully LGBTQ youth and CEO’s of banks and corporations who use their financial power to bully the unemployed, under-employed, poor and working class. Indeed, 2011 will be remembered as the year the 99% broke their silence to let the 1% know that bullying (physical, verbal, financial) destroys lives.

Finally, I invite you to reach out to family and friends who may be struggling with unemployment, depression or illness during this holiday season and let them know that they are not alone.  Conversely, if you are suffering with depression, please reach out for support.  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.

You can message me on Facebook at Monica Cummings, email me at mcummings@uua.org or leave a comment for me on the YaYA of Color blog, UU Living Mosaic at http://livingmosaic.blogs.uua.org/

Living My Faith,

Rev. Monica


Pastoral Message, October 2011

pic of me with love signHi Family,

I hope this message finds you and your family well.  I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Central Midwest District Chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association’s fall retreat last week.  The topic for the retreat was “Whose Are We.”  For two days, we reflected on relationships with colleagues, our personal ministries, a Higher Power, etc…  In addition to pondering the above questions, I also participated in a morning worship service titled, “Whose Are We”, by providing the following closing words,

Whose Are We?

our parents and partners

our siblings

our children

our pets

Whose Are We?

our neighbors

our friends

our co-workers

our congregations

Whose Are We?

the powerful and the powerless

those who suffer and

those who cause the suffering

Whose Are We?

the 6 generations that have passed

the 6 generations yet to come

the great cloud of witness

Whose Are We?

Whose Are We?

Whose Are We Not?

I invite you to respond to the questions, “Whose are we and Whose am I” with your family, friends, youth group, or co-workers.  After you do so, I would love to hear about your experience.

You can message me on Facebook at Monica Cummings, email me or leave a comment for me on the YaYA of Color blog, UU Living Mosaic.

I Love You,

Rev. Monica

Poetry – Can’t Tell, by Nellie Wong

Can’t Tell

When World War II was declared

on the morning radio,

we glued our ears, widened our eys,

Our bodies shivered.

A voice said

Japan was the enemy,

Pearl Harbor a shambles

and in our grocery store

in Berkeley, we were suspended

next to the meat market

where voices hummed,

valises, pots and pans packed,

no more hot dogs, baloney,

pork kidneys.

We children huddled on wooden planks

and my parents whispered:

We are Chinese, we are Chinese.

Safety pins anchored,

our loins ached.

Shortly our Japanese neighbors vanished

and my parents continued to whisper:

We are Chinese, we are Chinese.

We wore black arm bands,

put up a sign

in bold letter.

By Nellie Wong,

from Encounters: poems about race, ethnicity and identity

  • If you like this poem or want to submit a poem for this section, please leave a comment.

Community Prayer

Closing Words

As we leave this sacred space of fellowship and go our different ways this afternoon, go with more love than you came with.  Go with more peace than you came with.  Go with more compassion than you came with.

Pause throughout the week and remember you are a part of the interconnected web of life.

Don’t forget to bless a stranger with a smile.  Tell the people in your life how much they mean to you.  And take a moment each day beginning today, to say thank you for all that you have.

May all who want to set out on a personal search for answers to the most profound questions of life feel empowered to do so.  May all who want to awaken to who they really are, feel empowered to do so.  May all who want to journey from confusion to meaning feel empowered to do so.  May all who want to feel connected to their original source do the work to make it so.

May you live your beliefs and feel at one with everyone and everything.

Blessing upon you,

Blessings upon me,

Blessings upon every living thing,

Blessed Be.

Rev. Dr. Monica L. Cumming

  • If you use or find this prayer helpful please leave a comment.

UU of the Month

Month October 2009

Kevin for blog

Kevin Kapa is a recent graduate of the University of California San Diego where he doubled majored in Ethnic Studies and Urban Studies and Planning. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the First UU Church of San Diego, where he is an active member of the Journey Towards Wholeness anti-racism/anti-oppression committee. Kevin also serves as one of two young adult representatives with DRUUMM (Diverse Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries), the people of color organization of the UUA.

Kevin works as a community organizer with the Coalition of Neighborhood Councils in inner city San Diego, where he advocates for affordable housing, educational equity and green jobs. Kevin also organizes with the San Diego Youth for Revolutionary Change, a coalition dedicated to building the youth empowerment movement in the region and Anakbayan San Diego, a Filipino based international solidarity organization, rooted in the core values of anti-imperialism, anti-feudalism and anti-bureaucrat capitalism.

In his free time Kevin loves hiking through forests, swimming in the ocean, meditating atop seaside cliffs, deepening his understanding of God and writing/performing spoken word poetry. Feeling compelled to continue pursing his passion for social justice and spirituality, Kevin plans to attend seminary and pursue his Masters in Divinity and work to translate Unitarian Universalism to the next generation.

Victory! / Kevin Kapa

A prayer dedicated to ALL who struggle:

Can you imagine the VICTORY!


It will be as if heaven’s LOVE / rained down from the sky and flooded the earth with peace.


Forests shall be regrowN / waters shall be restored / and we will hear the sounds of birds again.


The ways of the ancestors / will become relevant and their teachings will be burned into our skin.


Poverty, greed, and fear will be ousted,

And replaced by spiritual well-being, authentic friendship, and deep love.


The heavens above will ring a mighty sound / calling us home / calling us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.


We will no longer have irrelevant or meaningless arguments,

Nor BE afraid of the power of our own voices.


Little boys and little girls will no longer be afraid to be who they are,

AND love who makes them happy.


Womyn of Color WARRIORS / will break the patriarchical & heternormative shackles that bind all of us,

SELF-HEALING / through ARTISTIC LOVE celebrations of expression.


The slave labor / of prison bondage will be DESTROYED,

And replaced by FREE / health care & education for all of our people.


Golf courses, freeway infrastructure, automobiles and oil forged by death / will become irrelevant,

And replaced by affordable housing, urban GARDENS, and solar mass TRANSIT.


The military industrial complex / will fall to its knees,

And be overgrown / by farmers MARKETS, CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUNDS and celebrations of solidarity.


The Aztec Sun / will once again RISE OVER the Brown People of the Earth,

Filling us with an indigenous pride in our ancestors.


The educational dreams / of undocumented children will manifest

And birth movement makers and spoken word prophets.


Borders will become meaningless / trade will be FAIR and NOT free / sweatshop abuse will finally END,

And prosperity will be for ALL OF US.
WHEN the victory comes

Indians, Blacks, Chicanos, Filipinos, Asians and Whites / will stand in solidarity with one another,

Fists raised HIGH / united together as one people.

WHEN the victory comes

Jews, Christians, Muslims, Pagans, Buddhists, Hindus and Atheists,

Will be able to share a meal at the table of sisterhood and brotherhood.

WHEN the victory comes

Military recruiters, prostitutes, drug dealers and gangsters / will be replaced by

Youth organizers, spiritual healers, community lawyers and green-collar-job makers,

The leaders of the REVOLUTION.


Love’s flaming arrow / will strike the hearts of the people,

Birthing us into ANGELS here on Earth.


Our way to HEAVEN / will be PAVED by the GOLDEN RAYS of the SUN,


WHEN the HEALING comes

It will NOT MATTER / what side you were on,

For God will have ALL OF US victorious in heaven.

WHEN the rebirth comes

The prophetic voices of:

Rumi, Che Guevara, Patrice Lumumba, Emilio Zapata,

Gabriela Silang, Philip Vera Cruz, Audre Lorde, Bayard Rustin, Malcolm X, Emma Goldman,

Angela Davis, Jo Ma Sison, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Van Jones,

Will be elementary school vocabulary.

WHEN the resurrection comes

It will be like the BIBLE SAID:

*Blessed are those who grieve / for GOD will COMFORT THEM.

Blessed are those who are humble / for the WHOLE EARTH will be theirs.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after justice / for they / will BE SATISFIED.”


We will realize LOVE / to be the FORCE on this planet pushing the world FORWARD


From Mother to Son,

From Father to Daughter,

From Generation to Generation.

Wherever there is struggle / the people WILL rise up.

Wherever there is fear, injustice or discrimination,

A movement calling for greater LOVE is bound to be birthed.

Whoever you are / whatever circles you travel with,

KNOW there is a movement waiting for your touch.

waiting for your unique soul to bless it / with your presence.


Now is the time /TO Step into the light / (AND pierce though the BULLSHIT!)

With the best tools we have at our disposal / our VOICES, our HANDS, and our UNITY!

Ashe. Kapalaran. Amen.