All Souls Kansas City

Reflections on the Kavanaugh Hearing

Dearly Beloved,

This has been a difficult day for so many of us. The testimony of both Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh has brought up a variety of feelings around the nation, and within our community.

  • If you have ever experienced sexual assault, your trauma and distress may be triggered again by these events.
  • If you care for someone who you know has experienced sexual assault, your secondary trauma and distress may be newly triggered, or triggered again.
  • If you have ever committed sexual assault, or think you might have, your regret, guilt, and fear may be triggered.
  • If you have ever been falsely accused of sexual assault, your trauma and distress may be triggered.
  • If you have ever been blamed for the sexual assaults or behavior of others, your fear and indignation may be triggered.
  • If you lived through the testimony and questioning of Anita Hill, and the confirmation of Clarence Thomas, your memories of those times may be triggered.

Many of us, myself included, are angry, sickened, disappointed in our government and the dynamics of power in our culture. We need to come together in community, to be assured that we are not alone in these feelings, and to renew our faith in the good that is possible as our human aspiration seeks to bend the arc of history in the direction of justice.

We also need the comfort of familiar routine and expectations we can count on. So, we will proceed with the service that has been long planned for this Sunday, which will touch on these issues in certain ways, but not attempt to address the events of today directly. Following the normal service, Anthony, Rebecca and I will host an hour or so of space for those who wish to re-gather in Bragg — to talk with one another, to sing, to read, to share silence, to speak holy anger and grief, as well as sacred hope and commitment, into our covenant community. This will be a rather spontaneous time, so if you have a brief reading that seems appropriate, bring it. Consider whether there is a familiar song from the hymnbook that we might take comfort in singing together. Also, be aware that the 10:00 Forum will also offer an opportunity for sharing speeches and discussion about the Ford/Kavanaugh testimony as well.

It is easy to feel alone and powerless in the face of entrenched privilege, but we are neither of those things. Our anger, our pain, and our grief are the beginnings of our collective transformation. Let us come together, and be reminded.

See you Sunday,
Rev. Kendyl Gibbons