In a recent letter to UU ministers, UUA President Peter Morales wrote: “We are living in the midst of historic cultural turmoil. Long festering resentments are being unleashed, posing immediate threats to the most marginalized in our society and presenting long­term danger to our natural environment. People are understandably anxious.”

Morales goes on to say: “We must prepare to provide sanctuary and resist. First, we must provide sanctuary in the broadest and richest sense of the term. We begin with offering safe places for reflection and healing for our congregants and for those coming to seek spiritual community. [But we also] must provide sanctuary to those most vulnerable . . . Second, we must prepare to resist human rights violations in active ways.”

In recent weeks, I’ve been preaching about providing sanctuary and becoming part of a larger movement of resistance to the dominant culture of fear and hatred. If ever there was a time to act, that time is now.

Throughout this year and the years to come, we will be urging all members and friends of Sunnyhill to become more active in matters of social justice, and we will provide and suggest a number of very specific actions that we can take individually and together as a congregation. Some of these actions will be relatively easy and low­risk; others will be more challenging and risky.

We have already stepped up our involvement locally by partnering with other organizations for the December 18 Unity Rally, which took place at the Mt. Lebanon Rec Center Plaza.

Our board recently affirmed the Black Lives Matter movement, and we are participating in Sacred Conversations on Race, sponsored by PIIN (the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network). And we have chartered a bus to take members and friends to the Women’s March on Washington the day after the presidential inauguration.

Sitting on the sidelines of the battle for social justice is no longer a morally acceptable stance for us as a congregation or for us as individuals. This work is hard, and it is frequently frustrating. But, if we are to be true to our highest aspirations, we must move forward with this work.

The road is long and the stakes are high, but we are called to do this sacred work together. Our efforts can and will make a difference. Let’s get to work!

— Rev. Jim Magaw