Report from Worshipful Witness

“This is who we are.  This is what we do.  We stand for justice.”

Last Sunday, Follen pulled off a powerful in-person Worshipful Witness for Justice and a beautifully complementary online Zoom worship service at the same time. While worship online has become part of Follen’s weekly routine in the COVID era, the impetus for our Worshipful Witness for Justice was anything but routine. A group of right-wing protestors decided to target Follen Church for a demonstration because of our Unitarian Universalist values. In Rev. Claire’s letter to the congregation, she sets out our intentions “to show up, be present, and peacefully claim our land, our name, our image, and our values.” After planning calls, and spreadsheets, and spacing diagrams, and sign up geniuses, and logistics docs and a non-violent protest training, and many hours of effort, Follen did it.  We held our space, we worshiped together, Follen stood for justice on Sunday.

But Follen didn’t stand alone. Follen exists in a beautifully supportive community. The elected leader of our faith, Unitarian Universalist President Rev. Susan Frederick Gray, joined us with her husband Rev. Brian Frederick Gray. The UUA both offered words of support via social media and helped rush-order a stack of placards to the church.  Despite the short notice and the timing (Sunday morning!) several interfaith leaders also turned out to show their support. We are especially appreciative of Rev. Barbara Callaghan (Hancock UCC) and Rev. Stephen Schick (retired) who were able to stay and help lead our worshipful witness. Follen also received much encouragement and support from local activists – from Black Lives Matter Cambridge Co-founder Didi Delgado to LexPride President Valerie Overton to the many, many supportive members of the community who heard about the event and felt called to be there.

What to do next?


-Andy Wells-Bean, Membership Director, Follen Church