Rev. Joan’s Blog – May 2021


Fix the broken system or break the fixed system,

We gathered for our 2nd Virtual Annual Meeting Friday, April 23, and Saturday, April24 via Zoom. We all miss in-person gatherings, but no travel, no food delivery, and focus on sharing information have benefits. In a little less than 24 hours, we shared together:

  • a short business meeting highlighting our accomplishments and plans
  • a riveting and powerful performance by Pat Jordan as Rachel Carson
  • a spiritual and inspiring worship service by the UUA Organizing Strategy Team
  • Lunch breakout rooms for each of our justice teams
  • a rural and small city panel – think UUs in University towns, not only in cities
  • a legislative panel to help us understand PA politics in the Capital

Missed the meeting or want to remember a specific section of the weekend, search UUJusticePA on YouTube to find the videos. We did not record The Rachel Carson performance for obvious copyright issues. Additionally, it was impossible to record six lunch breakout rooms. All of the other sessions are on our YouTube channel.

Best line of the weekend? The winner is Rep. Dianne Herrin, a Unitarian Universalist from West Chester, PA. Dianne was the former mayor of West Chester. She blew me away with her statement, “People say our pollical system is broken and needs to be fixed. I say, our system is fixed and needs to be broken.”

Amazing the wisdom found when we turn around the cliques we hear and say regularly. Our PA political system, just like our national pollical system, is fixed against us and for the legislators. They make the rules, and they reap the benefits; we pay them with our tax dollars.

Governor Wolf’s 2021-2022 budget is a forward-looking attempt at fixing some of our economic problems. I will be following budget negotiations in June and will share what I learn with you. The two sides have a long way to go to agree on our priorities and necessities.

I am counting on federal laws, regulations, and initiatives to pull us out of this mess we’re in. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is too white, too conservative, too stuck in old ways to budge. We progressives will have to be more strategic, louder, more visible, and determined to see any real progress over the next few years.

How do we get where we want to be? Our first step, VOTE – May 18, a Primary Election with Constitutional Amendments and a Referendum. Ensure everyone in your circle is aware that all registered voters, not only Democrats or Republicans, can vote on the ballot initiatives.

Here in Harrisburg, life is returning to a new normal. Please be safe and stay healthy where ever you live in this beautiful state. I would not want a year of stay-at-home restrictions to be for naught.

Holding ground in our faith and moving justice forward in PA,
Rev. Joan