The Courage to Connect: Healing Our Ancestral Lines

The Rev. David Pettee was a white man who served as Director of Ministerial Credentialing for the Unitarian Universalist Association, and whose ancestors were northern slaveholders.  Patricia Mann is a descendant of Cuff Simmons, one of the slaves owned by David’s family.  We’ll read their story this morning, in honor of the courage it took to forge a connection across deep historic divisions.

The Pettee and Simmons families met to discover their mutual history in Newport, Rhode Island during the autumn of 2007. Photo courtesy Keith Stokes.

All are welcome in worship, whether you’ve registered or not.  Your registration ahead of time allows for less congestion at the door on Sunday morning, and it helps us plan for spacing in the sanctuary.

Share the Plate

  • The Share-the-Plate for Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 will go to Movin’ Out. They provide safe, affordable, community-integrated housing for people with disabilities. They also help families become first time homebuyers and modify their homes to be safe and accessible. Along with Red Caboose, Movin’ Out will be part of a new building in our neighborhood at Union Corners. 

Order of Service

  • Gathering Song: #188 “Come, Come, Whoever You Are”
  • Centering Sound
  • Welcome
  • Prelude: “Be Like a Bird,” Arthur Frackenpohl and Victor Hugo
  • Call to Worship
  • Lighting the Chalice
  • Musical Response
  • Shared Music: “Sing Your Spirit Home” by Eric Bogle
  • Time for All Ages: “Stacey’s Extraordinary Words” by Stacey Abrams
  • Shared Music: Hymn #115 “God of Grace and God of Glory”
  • Wisdom from the World’s Traditions: “Your Assignment is To Heal Your Ancestral Line” by Sonya Renee Taylor
  • Reflection: “The Courage to Connect: Healing Our Ancestral Lines”
  • Offering: “V Poli, Poli” traditional Ukranian new year carol
  • Joys and Sorrows
  • Shared Music: “Creation of Peace,” lyrics by Mark Miller, music by Carolyn McDade
  • Extinguishing the Chalice and Benediction

Notes For Further Investigation

Coming to the Table – Truth, Justice and Healing – Working together to create a just and truthful society that acknowledges and seeks to heal from the racial wounds of the past, from slavery and the many forms of racism it spawned. A View From the Open Window – by Sha Jackson, excerpted today.

The Ties that Bind: A Deeper Exploration of My Family’s History with the Slave Trade – David Pettee’s story

Finding Your Roots – PBS


If you’re new to James Reeb and are interested in learning more about our congregation and Unitarian Universalism, check out our Exploring Membership class on Saturday, November 5.  It will run from 10 am until 2:30 pm, and lunch will be provided.  Contact Rev. Karen or Mary Wagner if you’re interested or have questions.

Get Out the Vote – THANK YOU to the 15+ folks that helped with addressing and sending postcards from UU the VOTE to WI residents!  With your help, we sent out 400 postcards with voting information and positive messages about this very important election!  If you still have lists of addresses, please contact Megan for pickup or questions. Click here for more voting and social justice news.

Job Openings – We have an update to share on our open staff positions.  Three of our openings are for temporary positions: the Office Assistant, the RE Coordinator, and the Cleaner.  These three openings are open for Reeb members to apply, and you should contact Rev. Karen if you’re interested in any of them.  The other two positions, Office Administrator and Director of Religious Education, are not open to members.  Please share the job descriptions with your networks!  Click here for job descriptions, and contact Rev. Karen with your questions and interest.

Dinner/Auction – Our Reeb Rave “Garden of Delights” is only 2 weeks away! It will be held Saturday, Nov 12, 5:30-8:30, at Reeb and on Zoom. We’ll have dinner, a dessert auction, silent auction of donated items and services, entertainment, and costumes! Bidding for the auctions will take place online – bring your devices. For those of you who’d rather not do online bidding, we’ll have helpers with devices there to assist you. Online bidding for the silent auction starts November 6.

Invite your friends and family! Suggested donations are $10 per individual and $25 per family. Participation is free for those on Zoom. This is our main fundraising event of the year and you won’t want to miss it!

And we are still in need of help for the Reeb Rave. We need your donations for the Silent Auction by November 5. And we need people to help with decorating, provide entertainment, and help others with laptop bidding. To volunteer, please contact Tom McClintock.

Click here for more announcements from this week.