Jamestown, N.Y. – “Wake up to Racism: Pass the 8th” is the title of the sermon for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown (UUCJ) virtual service on Sunday, April 18, 10:30 a.m.
Roddy Biggs will present the message that encourages adoption of the 8th Principle in Unitarian Universalism, as proposed by the Black Lives of UU Organizing Collective: “We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
Of themself, Biggs, who uses the personal pronouns He/They/Them, says, “I have a passion for speaking on and working to address many topics that have historically been left out of religious spaces, including mental health challenges, queerness, and multiracial identities.”
Of their message, Biggs says, “It is time that all white UUs wake up to the reality of racism. In fact, it is past time! Our congregations say they value every person’s inherent worth and dignity; they say they agree to work for justice, equity, and compassion, but how so and for whom? How many promises of change have been broken to our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) siblings in faith? And isn’t it time we make good on such promises? Join us and learn about the 8th Principle as we commit ourselves to change and keep our promise of building a diverse, multicultural Beloved Community.”
A senior at Middle Tennessee State University, Biggs is working on a Bachelor’s degree in religious studies with a minor in sociology. As an official aspirant for the ministry with the Unitarian Universalist Association, in the fall they will be continuing their education at Meadville Lombard Theological School Seminary in Chicago, Ill. Biggs is a member of the First UU Church of Nashville, where they are a worship associate and co-chair for the Social Justice Ministries. They also serve an Academic Internship for the Unitarian Universalist Young Adult Revival Network, are a member of the Board of Directors for Unitarian Universalist Mental Health Network, and work as a lay speaker on Sunday mornings. Their website is RoddyBiggs.com.
Because of COVID-19 limitations, UUCJ Sunday services are currently virtual instead of at its 1255 Prendergast Avenue location. Anyone is welcome to participate by emailing UUJamestown@gmail.com to receive a Zoom link for the 10:30 a.m. service. The link goes out as part of “This Week at UUCJ” on Friday afternoon, but you can request to join until the start of the service on Sunday.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown is a progressive, liberal religious community serving the southern tier of Western New York and Warren County, Pa. The UUCJ’s mission is to promote and provide a community where diverse people of all ages may explore the meaning of existence, give expression to liberal religious values, and work for a just, sustainable society.