Grateful to bring you our next installment in our bi-weekly messages with a prayer, an ancestor and a song speaking to our spirits. We hope these resources may offer what we need in order to be, courageously, steadily, humbly, on the side of love. One ancestor to lean on, one prayer for our messy lives, and one song to strengthen and soothe.
“We create our future, by well improving present opportunities: however few and small they be.” Lewis Howard Latimer
Lewis Howard Latimer (September 4, 1848-December 11, 1928) was an African-American inventor, patent expert, draftsperson and poet and a founding member of the Unitarian Church of Flushing, New York. His parents fled to Massachusetts from Virginia in 1842 and the case to secure their freedom was a notable case within larger abolitionist organizing. Latimer was also a poet, painter and writer and player of music. His legacy includes one of life-improving inventions including lamp fixtures, toilets for railway cars, a cooling and disinfecting system, and a locking rack for hats, coats and umbrellas. Read more about his life here.
Like Latimer, may we be courageous and stalwart in our daily interactions; creative and iterative in our work for justice. May we mark our small victories while never losing sight of the vision of liberation - and the transformation it will require of each of us. May we honor his contributions and be worthy of his legacy.
Prayer for when it seems insufficient
I thought it would be bigger. Shinier. About me.
May we remain clear, committed and unwavering in our vision
To reject scarcity, fear and limitations
To reject ego and pride
To demand abundance and redistribution of power and resources
To demand that we collectively move towards the vision of liberation
May we be surrounded by excitement to experiment
A commitment to excellence
A mandate of practice
A muscle of endurance
A strategy that is both nimble and thorough
Knowing in ways that at times we may feel small
But we have an opportunity to create the future we say we want
Through our priorities
Through our deeds
Through our commitments
May we create
Music - like all art - continues to regenerate and iterate, responding to our world. This week, we’re listening to SPZRKT [now Xavier Omar] and Sango’s How Do You Love Me on faith and love.
Thinking of you,
Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen, Ministry Associate for Youth and Young Adults of Color and Spiritual Sustenance Advisor, Standing on the Side of Love
Nora Rasman, Campaign Manager, Standing on the Side of Love