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.
“To me, a religious quest is a quest for the truth. Truth is one, but man's understanding of truth grows with the progress of mankind. I cannot believe that truth can be shut up in the narrow confines of any system of thought. . .” - Rev. Andrew Kuroda
Andrew Kuroda (December 29, 1906 - February 19, 1997) was a Unitarian minister, cataloguer, bibliographer and reference librarian. When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued his Executive Order 9066 in 1942, Kuroda and his family were forced into internment camps in Newell, California and in Colorado. Later, asked why Japanese American citizens did not resist this order, Kuroda explained that "We were concerned about our safety—the threat of reprisals against us was always on our minds." His final military assignment was as a member of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, working in Washington and Japan, which surveyed the morale of the Japanese whose lives had been affected by the dropping of the two atomic bombs. He would eventually go on to become a librarian working in the Library of Congress. At the same time, Kuroda served in a number of Christian churches until he became Unitarian and soon after established the Japanese Unitarian Fellowship of All Souls’ Church (Unitarian) conducting its first service in Japanese in 1962 - the only Japanese Unitarian fellowship outside of Japan. Read more about Rev. Kuroda here.
Like Rev. Kuroda may we question the systems around us and remain clear in our vision for the transformation we seek to create today. May we honor his wisdom and be worthy of his legacy.
Mark the Win, Keep the Vision, Stay the Course
Gracious and loving holy one.
Recent days continue to be marked by destruction. Threats. Pain.
We have also seen glimmers of what can be.
Winning of fights. Big and small. Old and new.
Tremblings of the confines of systems of power.
We will not, as Rashad Robinson remarked “mistake presence for power”.
But we will mark the win.
Keep the vision.
Stay the course.
For the world we are building.
This week, we're meditating on Ibeyi feat. Kamasi Washington's Deathless reminding us, we will continue on.
Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen, Senior Strategist, Standing on the Side of Love
Nora Rasman, Campaign Manager, Standing on the Side of Love