Reflection by Rev. Diane Rollert, 14 October 2018
As I think of our ancestors, I keep returning to this quote from African American writer, Ralph Ellison:
“Some people are your relatives but others are your ancestors, and you choose the ones you want to have as ancestors. You create yourself out of those values.”
I love the beautiful messages of gratitude that many of you wrote to your ancestors last week for our Thanksgiving service. There were thanks for life, love, courage, song, traditions, eyebrows, thick skin, health and longevity. Our ancestors have given us many blessings. But ancestry also comes with the burdens of the past.
Unitarian Universalism is my chosen faith, and Unitarian Universalists are my chosen ancestors. I come here holding onto the teachings of the family I grew up with and the ancestors who connect me to my racial, ethnic, religious and cultural roots. This faith has enabled me to hold onto what is good in my past and to let go of what I don’t need, as I engage in this ever unfolding process of bringing my spirit home.