Cultivating Connection: Nurturing Our Partnership with the Khasi People

May 3, 2024 | Beacon, Justice, Khasi, News

During the month of May, East Shore will celebrate our partnership with the Khasi people, who live in the rain-blessed hills of Meghalaya, India. On May 5th we will dedicate our worship service to the bond that East Shore has with these Unitarian friends.

Rev. Morgan McLean, the Global Connection Program Manager for the UUA’s Global Connection and Emerging Community Office, will describe a new approach to global partnerships.

Our Khasi Hills Ministry Team will share how transformational their partnering experience has been.

This is a special Share-the-Plate service, where all donations will be shared with our two partner churches.

Please give especially generously on May 5th to support their community projects and educational programs.

Our Khasi partnership is a truly precious bond that transcends borders and cultures, a bond that embodies the essence of our Unitarian Universalist values. More than anything, this partnership is about deepening relationships between people. Amidst the rolling green Khasi Hills, live teachers, students, and members of the Khasi community—a people who are deeply committed to shaping their own destiny. Their dreams embody their aspirations of self-sufficiency, sustainability, and empowerment. Despite differences in faith and culture, we celebrate their Unitarian beliefs and long-upheld indigenous perspectives.

Our connection with the Khasi People runs deep, rooted in mutual respect and solidarity. From the humble beginnings of our partnership to its evolution over the years, we have embraced cultural humility, setting aside our egos to listen deeply and learn from one another. Trust is central to our partnership… trust that has grown through years of building relationships and honoring each other’s voices.
This partnership is not about charity but about shared humanity and shared dreams. Through this partnership, we expand our horizons, find common ground and discover new ways of understanding the world. Our journey with the Khasi People has been a transformative one. Through deep reflection and cultural exchange, we have gained insights into our own privileges and biases, fostering a spirit of deep humility and empathy.

At the heart of our partnership is a commitment to education, to nurturing the hunger for learning among the youth of the Khasi community. Witnessing their growth and success fills us with profound joy and reaffirms the transformative power of education. Our shared endeavors in education and community development have thrived, creating hope and opening doors to new opportunities. Here at East Shore right now, we have 20 members who are connected with a Khasi student whose education they sponsor. They stay connected through writing and sending letters.

We extend a heartfelt invitation to each member and friend of our congregation to join us in the Khasi partnership. I encourage you to explore new horizons, and to discover the surprising joy that comes from connecting with individuals whose lives may seem worlds apart from our own. Here are some ways you might join in:

  • Volunteer for projects like the upcoming Trinkets and Treasures rummage sale, donate items to the sale, or just come to shop at the sale!
  • You may be able to travel with us on a transformative journey to the Khasi Hills, where you will experience the richness of their culture firsthand.
  • Join a youth pilgrimage to the Khasi Hills in the summer of 2025 — as a youth, a parent, or a youth advisor — or contribute to support the youth service project.
  • Sponsor a Khasi student who is selected from the neediest families by the local sponsorship committee and enable them to stay in school.
  • Immerse yourself in a spiritual journey by studying the history, culture and religion of the Khasis. We have some fascinating resource materials to loan you.

Together, let us recommit to East Shore’s partnership with the Khasi People. Your presence, your passion, and your willingness to engage not only will shape the future of our partnership but also helps widen the path towards a more interconnected and compassionate world.

Please bring your curiosity and enthusiasm and join us at the May 5th East Shore worship service.

Khublei! Doug Strombom and Barb Clagett, Co-leaders, Khasi Hills Ministry Team