Art Isn’t Segregated

“What are we doing that makes life better than being gone? What I saw when I came back were the people who’d shown up for me. We know instinctively that love IS that force that makes us cling to one another and pull back from the brink. That is it. The answer is love. It is ACTIVE love."

– James Dargan, on his experience of dying and coming back to life, twice

Photo of James Dargan preaching at North ParishIt was another amazing Sunday at North Parish last week, with James Dargan’s powerful, personal sermon and singing in the morning followed by his afternoon concert “Oh, Glory! Black History Matters”. He and his pianist Mark Whitlock offered music from the repertoire of five Black artists, from arias and classical pieces to spirituals and blues, in Russian, German, Italian and English. James wrote in the program, “Art isn’t segregated, and so I hope to use the connections between genres in this program to show how silly boxes are, when we talk about art or people.”

The biographies of the singers said that despite worldwide acclaim, their lives and careers were cut short by anti-Black racism and violence, McCarthyism, stolen earnings, as well as censure and surveillance by the federal government. The concert was a tribute to and experience of Black brilliance as well as a reminder of great injustices. If you missed it, you can watch the concert here as well as the service here.

As the efforts of the Black History Month organizing team have shown us, our sanctuary with its new stage is a wonderful concert venue. The two concerts this month resulted in two full houses with many first time visitors experiencing our sacred and resonant space. If you would be interested in working with the Music Committee to plan or find money for more concerts in our sanctuary going forward, speak to me, Music Chair Ken Cordio or Music Director John Middleton-Cox. As James said, art isn’t segregated- but sometimes churches can still feel that way. I’m glad that the Black History Month programming helped us to- actively- “share our love with the world”.

Now for the unfortunate news: I regret to say that after the busy weekend at the Stewardship Reception and an “all-day” Sunday, I came down with COVID. This time, it pretended to be a bad cold and started with a runny nose; I share this so those who came into close contact with me can be aware and test sooner rather than later if that happens to you. My apologies to you all! Despite another vaccination in late December and multiple exposures without impact, this time the virus got me. It is a sneaky one and still on the move, sadly. (Anyone else who is just “done” with this virus?!!)

Fortunately, we had already scheduled a guest preacher for this Sunday. I hope y’all will come and hear a new UU voice from our pulpit, and bring some friends to enjoy the art and wine event on Saturday as well.
With gratitude for love and the abundant creativity that flows through music and art,
Rev. Lee