We, bearers of the dream, affirm that a new vision of hope is emerging.
We pledge to work for that community in which justice will be actively present.
We affirm that there is struggle yet ahead.
Yet we know that in the struggle is the hope for the future.
We affirm that we are co-creators of the future, not passive pawns.
And we stand united in affirmation of our hope and vision of a just and inclusive society.
We affirm the unity of all persons:
We affirm kinship that allows us to touch upon each other’s humanity.
We affirm a unity that opens our eyes, ears, and hearts to see the different but common forms of oppression, suffering, and pain.
Yet we are one in the image of God, and we celebrate our hopes for human unity.
Within ourselves and within the gathered community, we will discover the strength not to hide in indifference.
Affirming that hope, publicly expressed, energizes and enables us to move forward. Together we pledge action to transcend barriers — be they racial, political, economic, social, or religious.
We pledge to make our tomorrows become our todays.
– By Loretta Williams from “Been in the Storm So Long”
Hope is what has carried us these past few years. Hope for a new minister, hope for growth, hope for healing, hope for surviving a global pandemic. Hope has kept us together, and hope is what will lead us forward. I often think of those people who went through these past three years alone. How lonely it had to be, how scared it must have been to face those struggles alone. Here, we are not alone. Here we have community. Here is where hope grows.
Hope is so badly needed right now. We are not only still dealing with the pandemic, but we are seeing the impact of the reversal of Roe v. Wade and the battles for individuals to maintain their bodily autonomy. We have seen new legislation that causes real harm to the LGBTQiA+ community, specifically trans youth who are being denied the opportunity to live their true selves. Even here in Bellevue, we are surprised and saddened by the reactions to our Pride service in June and the defacing of our Welcoming Congregations banner. We face the never-ending threat to our environment, wars tearing apart families, and continued injustices to our BIPOC siblings. It can often feel overwhelming, and we all need a place where we can find the comfort and support we need to continue to fight these battles with love.
In the past year, we have gotten to know one another better, reaffirming our commitment to be in community and spread our message of love and inclusivity inside and outside our doors. We are a safe haven for those looking to be accepted for who they are… all of who they are. The world needs East Shore and all we have to offer and plan to offer in the coming year.
Your support helps us continue to have meaningful, inspiring, and sometimes challenging services. Services filled with beautiful music, imaginative time for all ages, and the opportunity to recommit to our covenant. Your support helps make the coffee on Sundays, keep the buildings clean and maintained, and provide wonderful events like the Ingathering, Women’s Perspective Retreat, Seabeck, covenant circles, and so much more. Your support helps us live our Unitarian Universalist values by paying our hard-working staff an equitable salary so they can support their family and loved ones. Your support means hope.
We are asking you to please consider increasing your pledge by 5% to help us continue to put hope into the world. As you plant the seeds enclosed, think of your investment as planting hope for the future of East Shore so we can continue to be a beacon of light for decades to come.
Signe Lalish, David Langrock, Geri Kennedy and Martin Cox
ESUC Board of Trustees Officers