As the new Executive Director of the UU Legislative Ministry of NJ, my responses to the latest round of violence and outrage grow shorter and shorter. Quite honestly, I find myself running out of words.
What I hold onto at times like this is that we have not run out of creative or faithful responses to violence and fear.
Following up on last week’s letters concerning the Baton Rouge, Minnesota and Dallas shootings, and in the wake of Sunday’s ambush of police in Baton Rouge, UULMNJ would like to coordinate a statewide UU response to the escalation of violence towards both people of color and police. While we do not see these acts as exactly the same thing, we believe strongly that addressing one without addressing the other is both ineffective and not reflective of our shared UU values concerning the inherent worth and dignity of all people. Violence begets violence. It has to stop.
In an effort both to push forward with our own deep commitment to Black Lives Matter, and to grow and deepen our relationships with local and county-level police, we will be hosting a statewide video conference to discuss several ways we can effect change vis-a-vis our own police forces and within the larger context of historic, embedded racial injustice across the board.
Please join us on Zoom a week from today, Tuesday, July, 26 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to learn from Rohn Hein (Cherry Hill), Co-Chair, UULMNJ Dismantling Racism Group, Cherry Hill Congregation, Susan MacDonnell (Princeton), Chair, UULMNJ Criminal Justice Task Force, and other New Jersey UU leaders how we can be part of the solution.
To join the video call from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android visit
Or call in to (646) 558-8656 and enter meeting ID: 938 562 767
We very much hope to see you on the call. This is a unique time in our national life. We have the chance to be leaders both here in New Jersey and as an example to congregations across the country. I hope you will make an effort to join us next Tuesday, July 26 at 7 p.m.
In Faith and Abiding Hope,
Rev. Rob Gregson
Executive Director, UULMNJ