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Truth, Trauma and Change in Our UU CommunitiesA Commission on Institutional Change Discussion Guide

Four people stand in background and one person speaks from podium on stage at GA 2019

Each June, the Ministerial Conference at Berry Street selects an essayist to discuss a topic of relevance to ministry. This year’s essayist, Rev. Leslie Takahashi, spoke about “Truth, Trauma, and Transformation.” Leslie is part of the Commission on Institutional Change and though the essay is hers and not an official part of the Commission’s work, it was informed by her participation in hearing the stories of those among us. 

One premise of this work is that we are living in traumatic times which are much more painful for those who live with societal, racial, or religious trauma.

Truth, Trauma, and Transformation: Embracing the Cracks and the Gold (PDF) by Rev. Leslie Takahashi

Berry Street Essay Response (PDF) by Rev. Sofia Betancourt

Video (unedited) from the 2019 Berry Street Essay

Watch or skim through the essay and then consider the following questions:

  • How do the practices of your Unitarian Universalist community affirm a theology which honors all, including those with traumatic wounding?
  • How do the dynamics of traumatic experience intersect with our conversations about race in Unitarian Universalism?
  • How is religious wounding that people bring in from other religious communities addressed in your community? How is the religious wounding that occurs within our communities addressed?
  • How can we affirm—rather than deny or belittle—the traumatic experiences of those who have been marginalized in our larger societies and our Unitarian Universalist communities?