BLUUMin Pastoral Care
Black folks, UU or otherwise, requesting pastoral and/or spiritual care can reach our Community Minister and folks from the Black Lives of UU Ministerial Network by calling or texting 984-219-8711. This is a Google Voice number that we check daily. We will respond to any calls or text messages within 24 hours.
Pastoral care is a model of emotional and spiritual support that can be found in all cultures and traditions. People who provide pastoral care offer support to people in the joys, sorrows, and uncertainties associated with specific life events occurring while a part of the community in which pastoral caregivers serve.
For BLUU’s Ministerial Network, “spirit” simply (and with much complexity) implies energy, connection, and power. Spirituality, by extension, is both an awareness of our relationships to and with everything and everyone around us, including ourselves, and an appreciation of purpose, presence, and meaning-making of the world as we understand it and beyond our understanding. Spiritual care is a mutli-faceted model of support in individuals’ search for meaning, purpose, wholeness, and connection in day-to-day life
Because providing or receiving pastoral or spiritual care is not dependent on any one set of beliefs or traditions, pastoral care and spiritual care providers make a commitment to relate gently and skilfully with individuals’, their sense of self and emotional and spiritual resources.
If you believe that pastoral and/or spiritual care and support is what you need, the BLUU Ministerial Network would like for you to keep in mind the following guidelines:
We are not counselors or therapists. Therapists and counselors provide mental health support related to short- and long-term issues that require care beyond the usual one or two meetings that pastoral care calls for. Even if one of our Ministerial Network members is a licensed counselor or therapist, in this context, they can not serve in that capacity.
Pastoral and spiritual care responds to immediate spiritual needs of persons impacted by present-day wonderings, and concerns. If, in the process of receiving pastoral or spiritual care, your story and concerns move into incidents and experiences that happened a year or more ago, you may be moving into a place where therapy will be more effective than pastoral care.
The ministry of presence is deeply powerful work. It often happens that our primary role in providing pastoral care is just to simply listen and hold space for whatever is going on in that moment. Our role is not to fix people or situations, but to be present and provide the kind of space that individuals can access all their available senses to find peace and understanding.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis that requires immediate help, or are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call 1-800-273-TALK. This number will direct you to the Mental Health Crisis Hotline and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
SUICIDE PREVENTION RESOURCES
According to a May 2018 article, suicides among black children under 18 are up 71 percent nationwide in the past decade, rising from 86 in 2006 to 147 in 2016, the latest year such data is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In that same period, the suicide rate among all children also increased, up 64 percent.
Researchers aren't sure what has fueled the slightly larger rise for black children. Some speculate that those affected by racism might be at greater risk. Another factor could be the notion that suicide isn't a problem in the black community, hindering prevention efforts.
This information, alone, makes it critical that we provide meaningful resources for suicide prevention to this community and across age-ranges and demographics. Below, please find suicide hotlines relevant to various experiences and needs.
Crisis Text Line - Text HOME To 741741: Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis and for whom speaking with someone feels like too much. You will be connected to trained Crisis Counselors.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255): The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
Trans Lifeline - US: 877-565-8860 & Canada: 877-330-6366: Trans Lifeline is a national trans-led organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to the critical needs of our community with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education.
Trevor Lifeline - 1-866-488-7386: A national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth.
Meeting Up with Other Black UUs
One of the most difficult aspects of being a Black Unitarian Universalist in a predominantly white congregation and Association is the sense of isolation that persists. So any opportunity to gather face-to-face can offer spiritual uplift that may not otherwise be readily available.
With this in mind, we recognize that we may get the occasional request from a Black UU to meet up with other Black UUs in the area for deeper connection over coffee, a meal, a late night dance party, or a visit to a local congregation. You get the idea. Let's come together to grow together!
So if you're coming into a new area for a limited time or permanently, or just haven't connected with other Black UUs where you've been, click on the link below and fill out the form. And if there are folks in your area who we know about, the BLUUMin Network will be delighted to connect you!
BLUUMin Meet Up Form
Spiritual Sustenance for Our People
Sometimes, folks may want or need a little pick-me-up to help get the day started, or some sort of consistent opportunity for grounding that’s based in words, images, sounds, or movement. With this in mind, part of the work of the BLUUMin Network will be to help develop an online catalog of affirmations, meaningful videos, music and worship services (available in audio and/or video) that can serve as an online devotional space for Black UUs.
This space will be curated and regularly updated by the BLUUMin coordinators with an eye toward bringing black voices across the diaspora to black UUs, as part of our faith development. This spiritual sustenance catalogue will be housed here on the Black Lives UU website and, at some point in the future, folks will be able to request submission of a catalogue entry directly from the site.
In the meantime, if you would like to see particular words, music, videos, etc. catalogued, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “BLUUMin Spiritual Catalogue” in the subject heading.
We can't wait to build this resource with you!!!
Daily Affirmations & Voicemail Announcements
In advance of the BLUU Ministerial Network's official May 29th launch, we're inviting Black UUs to sign up for BLUUAffirmations through remind, a one-way, real-time messaging service via push, text or email notification, and/or Calling Post, an automated group calling and messaging service for BLUU announcements. These services can offer us opportunities for uplift, encouragement, and connection.
If you sign up now, you'll get your first messages on launch day. We hope you'll join us!
Reflection & Sermon Archive
Some of us have occasion to offer or be impacted by a sermon or reflection about issues that impact our lives as black and brown people. BLUU would very much like to make space for folks to share the manuscripts and/or videos of these reflections and sermons, archive them and make them available on the BLUUMin Network page. Please be on the look out for a Reflection & Sermon Archive, and if you'd like your work to be included, email it in manuscript or video form to email@example.com.