The Comfort of Community – Rev. D. Scott Cooper
- Publication date
- 2022-06-16 18:25:15
- unitarian universalism
June is Pride Month, and our theme is Reimagining Comfort. Rev. Scott asks us to think about Community: those people with whom we feel most comfortable. On June 12, six years ago, over a hundred people gathered in community were killed or injured in a mass attack on the Pulse nightclub. On June 28, fifty-three years ago, the Stonewall community fought back when the police raided their Greenwich Village bar. Chosen Families are the Communities who give comfort to many LGBTQ+ people.
- 2022-11-05 11:49:44
- First Unitarian Dallas
- New York, The Stonewall Inn, Comfort, All Creatures, Rev. D. Scott Cooper, Kay, Unitarian Universalist, Facebook, Unitarian, Pulse Nightclub, Father'S Day, Covenant, United States, Starhawk, Scott Cooper, General Assembly, Juneteenth, Vault, Outcast, Mark Vogel, Houston, Stowe, Trudy, Thomas, Brene Brown, The Soca, Mark, Bears, Queer, Google Comfort, Minds, Stonewall Inn, Call Lika, Our Lives, Inherent Worth, University Of Houston, Stonewall, Colin, Creed, Scottish Highlanders, Orlando Florida, Pride, Native Americans, Beloved Community, Jason Shelton, Rodriguez, First Unitarian Universalist Church Of Houston
- Internet Archive Python library 3.0.2
- Thank you for listening to the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston podcast. Today's sermon is called the comfort of community by the Reverend D Scott Cooper. The readings are: community means strength by Starhawk and a poem to Mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in 1969 by Trudy house. The first reading is called community means strength by Starhawk. We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been a place half-remembered and half envisioned. We can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catching our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us. Eyes will light up as we enter. Voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing, a circle. Friends somewhere we we can be free. Second reading is a poem by Trudy house poet lower, and it was written to Mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riot. 50 years since the Stonewall riots were lesbian, threw the first punch. Queer family rose up, ostracized the nurses, the teachers, art, sex workers, designers, conductors of a bus mothers, famous ENT, typical land on tip. Call Lika, those Brave big heart parts of global gay away clubs and networks for demanding Justice, equality and fair. Let's remember and celebrate our, but not falter in the ongoing fight. Eradicate Prejudice through set love. Took reimagining as our theme this program here, because the pandemic caused us to have to reimagine nearly every aspect of Our Lives. The humidity and hundred degree temperatures have put the idea of staying comfortable on everyone's Minds. I have certainly reimagined Comfort, which is our theme this month. We are reminded of the pandemics effect on Comfort this morning, as we are again wearing masks inside the building, sometime them uncomfortable. I admit I'm not a huge fan, but a small price to pay to protect ourselves and one- and as the pandemic we went from weeks to months- my desire to fully close myself in presentable garments, plum shorts and flip-flops are chests, especially, and even more so if I chose to work on my laptop at the pool in my comp. This practice became so ingrained that I found myself putting on a dress, shirt, tie and jacket to pray, still wearing shorts and flip-flops. You never saw my bottom half when we recorded these services for you. I'm still prone to wear shorts to the office on days I don't have a meeting. I mean we're hitting 100 degrees. In the first half of June, I was the guy who wore business casual it Seminary, while the students half my age were shorts and sandals, to so to say that the pandemic has caused me to reimagine and re-evaluate my attitude toward Comfort. Is an, I guess I also reimagined my relationship with comfort. I learned some new ways of thinking about eating and dropped. What exactly are we talking about when we talk about? Comfort is generally thought of as a sense of physical or psychological. Certainly, I'm physically at ease in my shorts and flip-flops and been comfortable chairs to watch TV or pop psychological dictionary definition of the verb Soul or reassure, if you were to. As I have Google Comfort poem, you see they are about registering those who are sick or consoling those who have suffered a loss. Those who study such things have identified a few: Universal contact, satisfaction with someone's tie, like a mother's embrace, which is essential to a child's. How many of us didn't realize how much we enjoyed the hugs we receive from family and so we couldn't get them during? How many stories did we see on the news of grand being able finally hug their G after more than a year apart. Other things I've already mentioned earlier: clothing, Comfort, which encompasses aesthetic, tactical, thermal moisture and pressure Comfort, Comfort Foods, so often associated with what we ate as a kid and have fun, memories and associations with, and, of course, being in Houston. Thermal Comfort, the satisfaction or, in our case, dissatisfaction with the ambient air, temperature and humidity- many of the things I've said so far. We've all been tempted to not create an uncomfortable situation by raising concerns or standing up for the right. It always seems those standing up for the wrong thing, or never, as concerned with creating an uncomfortable. Author and University of Houston Professor brene Brown wrote: Integrity is choosing courage over Comfort. It's choosing what is right over what is fun, fast choosing to practice your values rather than simply prefer. Then there's the dreaded comfort zone, that psychological state where we are totally not stressed because things feel familiar and we feel in control. Well, what could be wrong with that? After all, we read that in the comfort zone, a steady level of performance as possible. What is wrong with that is, as the old adage tells us, if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't. Many inspirational writers and speakers have told us something along the lines of you: never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone or change begins at the end of your. One of my concerns with those religions that are focused on the afterlife is, it seems to me, at least once they check off the boxes of what they need to do to get to heaven, there isn't a lot of growth warranted. In fact, any change might be seen as backsliding, a word I heard bandied about in my youth. The work they have taken up is to convince others to check off the same boxes that they did. Don't you use, don't accept certain agreed-upon beliefs. Call it a day and look skyward. We are focused on what we can do here and now. We want to grow in our beliefs, spirituality and in our service to the world, so maybe we need to think about the dreaded. What kind of these remarks I realized this week is my one opportunity to blend the monthly theme of reimagining comfort with the observance of pride month. Last week was the flower communion which Reverend Colin preached, and next week is both Father's Day and Juneteenth, and I'll be talkin about those the following week. I'll be at General Assembly Monday. I was talking to a rider who's, who was doing an article about churches that celebrate Pride, as we talked. Our offering in this context is community. Community to all those who agree to live in Covenant with us, regardless of our theological beliefs and regardless of our sexual orientation or gender. I told the writer that one of the things that most breaks my heart about those who are shunned by their faith communities once they come out, by those communities who claim to preach love, it said, so many people are so hurt by these charges that they vowed to never darken the door of a church again. It never occurs to them. There's a place like us. So they don't realize we're here, so they don't look for us. So maybe you can tell so. These people may spend the rest of their lives without a spiritual Community because of the trauma imposed by The Soca. People are being deprived of a community of supportive, loving people because they've been made suspicious of any group identifying as a. I've been searching for a word to use instead of saying community. Over and over I start hawkshead. In our first reading. It is notoriously difficult to describe. We are all longing to go home to some place. We have never been a place half-remembered and has envisioned. We could only catch glimpses out from time to time. Commute, thesaurus wasn't much health, nothing. There had the connotation of people who are on the same wavelength, who just sort of got us to good words, our clan and tribe. But those are typically associated with specific people like Scottish Highlanders or Native Americans, and if the people listening to you think you spelled Clan with a K, it opens up a whole other bag. Other words, I found, implied a blood relation like 10, but that's often paired with kiss, like kiss and Ken kiss, our acquaintances, friends, neighbors or the like persons living in the same general locality and forming a more or less I may need to go with kiss, but really the word isn't as important as is Starhawk for arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing, a circle. So June is an especially good month to remind our kith and kin. This church is a place of Welcome, a circle. Pride was being celebrated in June, even before what happened six years ago. Today, in Orlando Florida, a 29-year old man entered pulse, a gay nightclub, and killed 49 people and wounded 53. This wasn't intended as another sermon about the problem of mass shootings, but I believe it is telling that it's difficult to not get away. Ten-year-old miteite Rodriguez wore green, high-top Converse shoes with a heart drawn and marker over her gun used in Vault, a what's so powerful that those shoes were the only clear evidence that could identify. Prior to this horrific and devastating thought, the one that haunted me most was the story of dozens of cellphones in the pockets of the Dead ringing on the Dancefloor of the Pulse Nightclub, family and friends desperate to find out that their loved ones were. I told the following story last year during Pride, but it Bears repeating because of my top, right after the Pulse Nightclub, shooting an acquaintance on Facebook or marked on how it was terrible that people were killed. But he didn't understand what. Being gay, I replied that one of the few safe spaces for the lgbtq community has traditionally been gay bars. It was true when I was coming out, and it was certainly true when the police raided The Stonewall Inn. So it felt like a gut never been to the pulse to have one of our safe space, just as it felt in 1969 to those drag queens who fought for their safe space at Stowe. If a child cannot consider their school and classroom as really, what pride month being commemorated in June is Stu? To a group who fought back after yet another violent police raid on their community on their own. The Stonewall Inn was different than the other gay bars in New York. At the time, it was the home to the drag queens that the other bars shunned. It was frequently frequently by homeless Kay's, especially youth who have been kicked out by parents who would rather see their kids dead than they were too young to get into other bars. That check tidy sum of the 20-something. Homeless gays have been thrown out of school or the military for being gay and couldn't face the prospect of go. Admission price to get into the Stonewall was only $3. Even someone with no home and only the clothes on their back could panhandler shoplift $3 once inside. They could stay inside out of the summer heat or Winter's cold all night. This save them from spending the night in the doorway or getting arrested. This space is where they were comfortable. This was home. This was their kiss, their try again paraphrase our first reading by Starhawk. These were the people to whom they could speak with passion, without having the words can circle of hands that open to receive them, the eyes that live, the voices that celebrated when they came into their own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the war. So when the police raided the bar in the early-morning hours of June 28th 1969. They fought back when the police became violent. The Stonewall riots were the Watershed event that sparked the twentieth century fight for lgbtq rights in the United States. What these young gays and drag queens did at Stonewall made me realize. Thomas, writing this sermon, I came to realize that to move outside our comfort zone, to grow ourselves and and maybe even to make big changes in the war really helps to First have a community worker. Ironically, that place of comfort and Community gives us the strength to shed the fear holding us back and move out of our comfort zone, because those in our community are supporting us and have our backs as we move Beyond. I imagine that none of those drag queens or homeless youth would have been able to move beyond their fear to stand up to the show the police on their own. But in community they were able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder t-shirt to beaded gown and fight for the only place that felt like any symbol. Immunity means strength that joins our strength to do the war here can be your community of strength to join with your strength to do the woah working toward Beloved Community, where no one is Outcast because of who they are or who they love, working toward making safe spaces truly safe against gun violence, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and yellow t-shirt to beat it down, to eradicate Prejudice through education and teach that love is a human right. We are here to be your kiss, your tribe, your clan. With a c we can be your community of comfort, where you can move out of your comfort zone to grow personally in to grow spiritually. We can be the arms to hold you when you falter. A circle of healing, a circle of friends someplace where we can be free. Please join me in thanking wind erode wild for participating in the readings for today's podcast. Our music was composed by Jason Shelton and performed by Mark Vogel. For those of you who may be new to this congregation or our online content, let me say a few words about Unitarian Universalist. Unitarian universalism is a face where you can bring your whole self, your full identity. You're questioning mind, your expensive heart. As Unitarian Universalist, We join together on a journey that honors everywhere we've been before. Together, we create a force more powerful than one person or one belief system. Our beliefs are diverse and inclusive. Rather than a Creed, we sure Covenant, based on a set of seven principles, is include the free and responsible search for truth and meaning, the inherent worth and dignity of every person and the knowledge that we are part of an interconnected web of all existence that calls us to honor the Earth and All Creatures. If you're enjoying our podcast, feel free to go to First uu Org to learn more about. Thank you for being with us today.