Lately, the 6:30 p.m. national news has started this irritating habit of beginning most telecasts with saying "Breaking news, ...." and then stating a headline of whatever news item they have chosen to lead with. I realize that some stories are truly worthy of such introduction, but when they do it almost every night, it seems overly melodramatic. Recently, I was in the UT Medical Center cafeteria and saw a lady with a sweatshirt on that had on the front, "Breaking News: I don't care." I'm not sure if it meant she didn't care about any breaking news, or she was declaring a breaking news item saying that she just doesn't care about anything. Either way, it got me thinking about the subject of caring.
There is so much in our world that we could care about, e.g. the environment, the country, animals, our community, families, friends, and, of course, our church. Almost everyone cares about something. But, caring only goes so far. You have to do something for whatever you care about. Whether it's donating time, money, or other resources, we can make a difference in the world by doing things individually and collectively to enhance the lives of others.
I imagine everyone cares about something; hopefully, multiple somethings. UUs have a reputation of caring. We have a social justice committee that has a mission to do things to improve the lives of others in our community and beyond. There's a broader based group formed called the UU Justice Ministry for those UUs in Tennessee to participate in social justice activities as a group not directly representing a specific church. Westside participates in Family Promise, which provides a caring environment for homeless families. Within our church, people are always doing things to show how much they care for members of the congregation by helping out in times of need. There is even a Caring Committee.
Then there is the area of pastoral care. Although this is a basic responsibility of the minister, the needs are so great that we cannot expect Rev. Carol to be able to handle it all by herself. If you feel you can contribute in this vital area, let Rev. Carol know. It may be just a matter of making phone calls or visiting someone in the hospital.
We need this caring community of Westside UU Church to come together and contribute in whatever way possible to ensure that we can continue to say, with pride, that "we care." Maybe we could even have some shirts made that say "Breaking News: We do care."