Update From The Black Lives Matter Banner Process Group

As you may have heard, after a very civil and meaningful discussion, the two proposed articles below were passed at the 1/7/18 congregational meeting. Here are some of the details:

  • Article IV To hear and act upon the recommendation of the Standing Committee and the Black Lives Matter Banner Process Group that the Society adopt as a statement of purpose the text as set forth in Attachment-4-BLM-proposed-text, carried by a vote of 62 to 1.
  • Article V, To hear and act upon the recommendation of the Black Lives Matter Banner Process Group that the members of the Society affirm our continuing commitment to racial justice by publicly displaying on church property a sign or banner that reads: “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” passed as written by a vote of 54 to 4.
  • Prior to this an amendment to change the wording to ‘Our faith calls us to affirm that Black Lives Matter’ was defeated 17 to 36. ( Slightly more than 2/3 voted down the amendment.)

Our congregation has made a very ambitious commitment to racial justice and there is much work to be done. Please do take a careful look at the the statement of purpose and let us know of anything that you are drawn to contribute to this work going forward. The Black Lives Matter Banner Process Group will be proceeding with the remaining items of the proposed process that was approved last spring, which include but may not be limited to the following:

Additionally before the banner is hung we would:

  • Have conversations with our local police, the executive director of Winchester Multicultural Network, and other local congregational leaders (with Rev. Heather’s assistance, of course.)
  • Do a publicity campaign including a press release and/or letters to the editor of local papers to inform them of our commitment.
  • Provide a way for folks to contact us about the banner via our website or email.

After the banner is hung, we (or other interested congregants) would continue to provide support to the process in the form of offering continuing conversations for any folks within or outside our congregation who indicate an interest in understanding our public witness position.

If you are interested in helping out with any of the above items, please speak up. We will be sending out a doodle poll to find a time for the next meeting of the Black Lives Matter Banner Process Group soon.

Thanks again for you interest,

Steve Butterfield, Phil Coonley, Sarah Kelley, John Loewy, Gordon McIntosh,

Kathy Richardson, Patty Shepard, and Sophia Sid

Black Lives Matter Banner Process Group

wusblmbannerprocessgroup@gmail.com

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