All Souls Kansas City

February 2021, Newsletter, The Flame

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Forum & Sunday Services  |   From the Minister  |   Religious Education

Things To Do | Get Involved | Attendance

 Adult Education

Virtual Forum &

Sunday Services…

UU Forum | February 7: “KC Black History Project in a time of racial uprising” with Carmaletta Williams, Glenn North, & Jeremy Drouin

February 7 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

For a decade the KC Black History Project has annually gathered stories of Black men and women who shaped our city through oppression and segregation.  The project has published a book just as a racial uprising has consumed our national conscience.  Black Archives of Mid-America Director Carmaletta Williams, poet Glenn North, ad KC Public Library historian Jeremy Drouin look at where we go now.

Sunday Service | February 7: “Can’t Get a Date? Darwin Day 2021” with Rev. Kendyl Gibbons

February 7 @ 11:15 am – 12:15 pm

As we seek to make sense of the simmering cultural fault lines that have recently inspired violence at the nation’s capital and continuing low level threats to the institutions of democracy, the work of Charles Darwin invites us to consider evolutionary pressures that may be at work beneath our political rationalizations.  What if it really IS about ‘uppity’ women?

February 7th Virtual Sunday Plus

February 7 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Deadline for ordering is February 2nd, 7 PM. Super Virtual Sunday Plus for watching the Super Bowl. We hope the Chiefs will be playing in the big game; but whatever team plays you can have a super dining experience with the February 7, 2021, Virtual Sunday Plus.  Thanks for your continued support of our meals! Pit Master and fellow member Bill Rainey will be stepping up the game with his famous smoked brisket. This meal is one not to be missed.…

UU Forum | February 14: “Elimination of Discrimination Against Women” with Alice Kitchen & Carol Cowles

February 14 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

This crucial “Follow Up to Kansas City Resolution 141045,” prepared by Ms. Kitchen and Dr. Cowles, Dr. Gail James and Dr. Patti Jachowicz, deals with the importance and long-awaited progress of the Resolution, crucial to anticipated action to bring Kansas City past age-old gender discrimination.

Sunday Service | February 14: “Siding with Love” with Ericka Hewitt at UUA

February 14 @ 11:15 am – 12:15 pm

What if to “side with love” meant making bold, faith-full choices? What if it were even a little bit scary? This worship service brings together worship leaders and musicians from across the country to offer hopeful, moving, challenging reminders about what we, as Unitarian Universalists, are called to do, and BE, in the world.

UU Forum | February 21: “Helping Low Income People Care about Climate Change” with Richard Mabion

February 21 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Richard is a member of the Executive Committee of the Kansas Sierra Club and past President of the K.C. Kansas N.A.A.C.P.  From his years of community experience and national interactions, he will discuss ways to connect inner city residents with environmental issues and the climate crisis.

Sunday Service | February 21: “Are We There Yet?” with Rev. Kendyl Gibbons

February 21 @ 11:15 am – 12:15 pm

The cross-quarter solar holiday of Imbolc, adapted to the Christian calendar as Candlemass, marks the beginning of a new agricultural season, with the birth of lambs, the preparation of tools, and the blessing of candles.  It also celebrates the interior fires of hearth and stove.  As we continue to hold the line of pandemic precautions, can we remember to honor the holiness of not-yet, and the inner life of anticipation?

UU Forum | February 28: “Creating Community Where All Can Feel at Home” with Judy Ancel & Karla Juarez

February 28 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

The Campaign for a Safe and Welcoming Wyandotte.  A coalition of organizations is building momentum for a campaign for an ordinance providing a municipal ID and regulating cooperation with ICE in Metro KC’s most diverse city.  Speakers are Judy Ancel from the Cross Border Network and Karla Juarez from AIRR.

Sunday Service | February 28: “Promises, Promises” with Rev. Kendyl Gibbons

February 28 @ 11:15 am – 12:15 pm

“Good will is the spirit of this church…” we remind ourselves each week.  Being a covenant community is part of our spiritual tradition, but what does that mean, and why does it matter? Who are we in covenant with, and what does it require of any of us to keep our covenant promises?

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From the Minister. . .

It is highly likely that over time, harm has been done to people of color here at All Souls; probably without conscious intention, but real harm nevertheless, that most of us from the dominant culture had and have no awareness of.  Similar kinds of harm have likely been done to queer folks, and those with physical and mental differences.

It is easy for me, as a member of the dominant white privilege culture, to assume that because we aspire to create an anti-oppresive environment, that everything is okay for the marginalized folks around us, unless they tell us that something is having a negative impact for them.  It is easy to assume that the mechanisms for offering that message are obvious and accessible, and that we would be ready to hear someone who needed us to know that things were not okay.  It is easy for those assumptions to be wrong; it is easy to do more harm.  Part of becoming a more anti-racist community is recognizing that we must be proactive in learning to mitigate and prevent doing more damage to those among us who already suffer from not having white skin, cis/het, conventional mobility privilege.  And part of that learning is that we must not expect those folks to be the only ones noticing and naming problems.  As a way of moving beyond that expectation, the All Souls board of trustees is seeking to appoint four Equal Opportunity Advocates, to represent four different dimensions of justice awareness work here in our congregation.  Their input will help us to promote a more welcoming and socially conscious church, the Board will appoint Equal Opportunity Advocates (EOAs)  for a period of ~2 years, beginning in the spring of 2021. The advocates will focus on issues internal to All Souls, rather than external issues. For example, the Accessibility Advocate might look at how to make our sidewalk more accessible to those in wheelchairs, but they would not focus on All Souls’ responses to issues in Jefferson City that affect handicapped people.  The Advocates are welcome to recruit a partner or set up a task force to help with their projects.

It is our explicit hope not to ask members of marginalized communities to take on these roles as advocates; rather, we hope that privileged folks who want to see positive change for justice in our culture will choose to help us all in this work.  Together, we will identify and build a network of consultants and accountability partners who are invited to inform and advise the advocates so that they can function effectively.  This is a new initiative in our congregation, so we don’t yet know exactly how it will work, but we do know that we need to find ways to deepen our collective awareness of what it means to have, or not have, various kinds of privilege.  

The advocate project has three requests of our fellow All Souls members: 

  1.  We have designed a short survey in order to create a baseline for measuring awareness around issues of identity and privilege.  It should take only a few minutes to complete, and we ask everyone to complete the 20 or so questions that it asks.  Click here 

 to connect to the survey, or link to it from the All Souls website home page.

  1. If you are interested in being one of the initial four advocates — for racial issues, gender/sexuality issues, able-ism issues, or environmental issues — or if you can think of someone from All Souls who would be a good fit for one of these roles, please let us know.  The survey form has a space for these suggestions.
  2. We hope that we will all encourage and support the advocates in their work, and be receptive to their learnings.  What they ask us to think about may not always be comfortable to hear, either for them or for the rest of us.  If we remember that it has not always been comfortable to be a person of marginalized identity here at All Souls, we should be able to stay centered in the knowledge that we are all in this project together, trying to build the beloved community out of fallible human beings.

If you have questions about the Advocates program, Roma Lee Taunton or Richard Thompson, or Rev. Kendyl Gibbons, will be glad to talk with you more; be in touch with any one of them.  Thank you for all your help and your commitment to growing justice.

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Religious Education…

All Souls Youth, Pre & Elementary Classes

Congratulations to Tori Jonson

Congratulations to Tori Jonson for receiving the All Souls Attitude of Gratitude award at our Yulebock on January 10. After George Floyd’s death, Tori felt called to join the Black Lives Matter protests in Kansas City. The lessons that Tori learned as a Unitarian Universalist were most certainly a big part of her inspiration. Tori, we commend you for your courage and commitment to stand in solidarity with our black friends and neighbors in the Black Lives Matter movement!

Congratulations to Ethan Robertson

Congratulations to Ethan Robertson for receiving the Attitude of Gratitude Award at our All Souls Yulebock on January 10. Due to his Unitarian Universalist values and his relationships with black friends in the Center school district, Ethan felt compelled to join the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd. In the stand against systemic racism he has become an ally and supporter of the Black leadership that is so dedicated to changing Kansas City and America. Ethan’s part in this crusade has taken him to frightening but important protests in Kansas City, Portland and Washington, D.C.  Ethan, we commend you for your courage and commitment in standing with and working beside friends and leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement.  

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Things to do…

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Get Involved…

Virtual Memorial Event Celebration

You are invited to contribute to a virtual memorial event celebrating the life of Jack Jonathan, the date of which will be announced soon.  

You can participate in several ways:

1. Record a brief video on your computer or cell phone, telling about one special memory or quality of Jack that you cherish.  These should be no longer than 4 minutes, with 5 silent seconds before and after you speak, in order to facilitate editing.  Please turn the phone to horizontal while you record.  Upload the file to 

2. You can e-mail or USPS mail a written recollection to be read at the virtual event.  Email to or mail to All Souls.

3.  You can mail a physical photo or picture of Jack, or scan and email it, to be included in the photo montage.  If you are submitting an electronic image, upload the file to

4. In lieu of flowers, contributions in honor of Jack’s memory may be made to All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church of Kansas City, 4501 Walnut St, Kansas City, MO 64111, or through the web page at

Caring Connection

Do you know an All Souls member or friend who could use some extra attention and support — someone who’s had surgery, is ill, or is coping with another challenge? If so, alert Bonnie Schwarzenholz, chair of the
Caring Connection.

Do you need or know of an All Souls member or friend who could benefit from a supportive Caring Circle? If so, call Dori Bader, Caring Connection volunteer, for information on Caring Circles and how to initiate one.

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Virtual Attendance Figures for December 2020

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Adult Education…

The All Souls Board of Trustees needs your advice as we seek to make our congregation more responsive to the needs of marginalized groups in our community. 

Please take a moment to fill out the survey at

to share your opinion about how we can better embody our values and fulfill our mission. 

Thank you!

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