As the governing body of the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, we the Board of Directors, unequivocally condemn the attack on our US Capitol on January 6, 2021. We condemn any and all attempts to forcibly delay or to overturn the results of a democratic election. We publicly name the role of white supremacy in the attack as a tool to stoke division and violence among the American people. If we are to live into our principles of justice, equity and compassion, we must face the hard truths about our country, our relationships to one another and the systems of violence that permeate our culture.
Inequity is sown into the fabric of our institutions by valuing white bodies and lives over all others. That is being made ever so clear to those who may have struggled to see it before. The majority white body that stormed our Capitol last week was met with little resistance, unlike the overwhelming force that has been historically displayed toward our siblings who are Black, Indigenous and people of color. Seeing so clearly this intricate weave of fabric that blankets our American culture, the Board commits to seeking out and understanding any ways in which our church community and governance might unintentionally perpetuate these same systems of harm. We must dismantle the racism in ourselves and our institutions as we do the brave work of creating a more Beloved Community.
Our Congregational Covenant invites us to be gentle with one another as we grow and to take responsibility for the impact of our words, actions, and inactions. Whether you are meeting this unsettling moment with grief, with fear, with disbelief or with anger, let us engage authentically and support one another to dismantle the root causes of oppression and racism within ourselves and our broader community, for that is the sustainable path to begin to heal the deep wounds of our democracy. The UCM Board and our Congregational Covenant is ready to meet you wherever you are in this challenging work.
“We are the Unitarian Church of Montpelier. We are bound together by Love within this safe and nurturing community. We gather as we are and as we aspire to be. We accept some discomfort to stretch beyond past boundaries and habits.” Let’s stretch. Let’s learn. Let’s act. Let’s love. Let’s meet this moment of our democracy’s crisis grounded in faith and community, together.
Victor A. Guadagno
Unitarian Church of Montpelier Montpelier, VT, Board President
Board of Directors
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval, Minister (Ex-officio)