This Sunday, Upcoming Events and January's Poem

This Sunday Jan. 21 at UUCDC - "Democracy Diminished"

It was five years ago this week that the US Supreme Court handed down its ironically-named "Citizens United" decision, opening the floodgates to big money in politics. A core principle of Unitarian Universalism is "use of the democratic process within our congregations and society at large." This Sunday, Rev. Peter and worship associate Josie Cressler will reflect on the impact that this decision has had on our democracy and what role we can play to ensure our voices are heard by those claiming to represent us. Music at both services will be offered by Dick Veleta.

Please save the dates for these three major events!

January 20 from 6:00 to 9:30 - Chili, Chocolate, Homebrew - Are you looking for an evening with friends, trying wicked, awesome chili, mind-blowing chocolate desserts, and maybe the best-you've-ever-had home brew? Chili heads, chocolate makers, and home brewers compete for coveted prizes at the Annual Chili, Chocolate Home Brew Challenge!   More information here.

January 28 Congregational Meeting - Meeting starts at 6:00 preceded by a pot luck dinner at 5:00.  Read the "Call to Meeting" here.

February 3 from 3:30 to 6:15 - Media Food Bank Benefit Concert - A fun afternoon family friendly event for a great cause!  See the concert poster here and feel free to send it to friends and family.

Rev. Peter's Poem for January's theme, "Intention"

"For Chester"
 
I am tired of writing poems
that make us feel good about
ourselves. Poems written from
the comfort of a La-Z-Boy in
my living room, where the house 
is a cozy 70 and my bank account 
is set up to pay off my credit card
in full each month without needing
to worry the balance.
 

I want to write poems from
the spot on West 7th Street
where Ronnie Lundy, 16,
was shot in broad daylight and
his blood still stains the sidewalk,
or from the KNF Market down
on 3rd at eleven on a Friday 
on the fourth night of a 
heat wave in August.
 
I want my poems – this poem – to
grab you by the throat and drag you
down to the William Penn project,
where grandmothers just like you
take their lives into their hands
walking to the corner store, and,
every day, hug their grandchildren 
when they leave for school like it 
might be the last time,
because it really could be.
 
I want my poems – this poem – to
be the ghost of Christmas present,
so you can sit, unseen, in the teachers’ 
lounge at Chester High and hear 
the sadness and frustration, 
and also the hope. 
 
I want my poems – this poem – to 
pry your eyes open to all the good 
people caught in the cross-fire of 
ego, nepotism and outright neglect, 
and who, despite apparent powerless, still persist. Men like Cory and Clyde, and all the Women of Strength, who stand up for the fallen.
 
But my poems – this poem – are written
from the comfort of a La-Z-Boy in
my living room, where the house
is a cozy 70 and I, like you, can easily
avert my eyes and ignore the terror.
 
On the first day of this New Year,
I vow to turn toward the carnage 
and desolation, toward the faith of the despairing, to speak the bloody, hopeful truth, to make us both uneasy, unaccepting, perhaps even beyond 
the end of this poem.