Wednesday Messages from Rev. Brooks

Messages are prerecorded by Rev. Jaye Brooks, available at 2:00 PM and thereafter here, on the UUCSR YouTube channel and Facebook.

Rev. Jaye Brooks wrote, "Independence Day reminds us of the Principles that form the idea of America: people are equal, their rights are inherent, and our government is created by the people to serve the people. These ideas resonate with our UU Principles: the inherent worth of every person; justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; the use of democratic process in our congregations and in the world. These Principles, clearly stated, carry with them an implicit promise that we will act together to make them live vibrantly in our national public life."

Read by Suzanne Viverito, Tina Manko, and Gary Mitchell. The words date back 500 years to the European roots of Unitarian and Universalist values, It combines the thoughts of 16th-century theologian Frances David, the text of one of the first religious freedom proclamations in human history, the 1568 Edict of Torda, and a traditional Hungarian house-blessing that traces back to the early Unitarians of Transylvania. These ideas shaped history. They became our Unitarian Universalist roots. When we use our reason to understand, when we find love in our hearts, when we open our minds to influences beyond what we now know, these roots anchor us—but they do not limit us. Instead they guide us to new ideas, new “revelations,” and new understandings of the issues of the day. Our roots run deep.

Rev. Jaye Brooks reads “Jazz People” by Black American poet Regie Gibson (http://www.regiegibson.com/) The poem is based on the stories he and his daughter Jamila made up when she was little and together they imagined people who chose to be music so they could live in harmony.

Regie Gibson's website describes him as a poet, songwriter, author, workshop facilitator, and educator, who has performed, taught, and lectured at schools, universities, theaters and various other venues on two continents and in seven countries including Havana Cuba. Regie and his work appear in the New Line Cinema film love jones, based largely on events in his life. The poem entitled "Brother to the Night (A Blues for Nina)" appears on the movie soundtrack and is performed by the film's star, Larenz Tate. Regie performed "Hey Nappyhead" in the film with world-renowned percussionist and composer Kahil El Zabar, composer of the score for The Lion King musical.

Kurt Vonnegut said, "Regie, when you perform, you are supersonic and in the stratosphere, where you can see that the Earth really is a ball, moist, blue-green. Regie, you sing and chant for all of us. Nobody gets left out."

The Rev. Jaye Brooks presented this poem by Rev. Angela Herrera following months of quarantine due to COVID-19, and weeks of unrest following the murder of George Floyd.

The Rev. Herrera is Senior Minister at First Unitarian Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.The Rev. Jaye Brooks is Developmental Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, in Manhasset, NY.

The Rev. Jennifer Brooks delivers brief and timely messages weekly on Wednesdays at 2:00 PM on uucsr.org/connect/messages, on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Also on Wednesdays, at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM, all are welcome to join Rev. Jaye in live conversation on Zoom at the twice weekly "Wednesday Conversations."