March 8th is International Women’s Day. What is asked of us this year? I just signed an internet petition urging the Pakistani prime minister to stop legally-sanctioned honor killings (murder of women who were raped or didn’t accept an arranged marriage). I signed another petition protesting the jailing of women in Saudi Arabia who want to work and live openly. Every year, we support programs of the UU Service Committee supporting women in developing countries in creating their own cottage industries, which keep their families and communities safer, financially secure and healthier. And closer to home, we are asked to stay awake to attacks on reproductive freedom from the religious right, not to go numb in disbelief at their fear-mongering and might-makes-right posturing. How may we help each other stay engaged? Come together. Come on Sunday mornings. Come to programs during the week. Reach out for support. Suggest a book for the Book Group. Connect with old friends and new. Support community service projects. Celebrate the courage of people just like you and me, staying awake, staying engaged. And together, let’s allow feelings of disconnect or disbelief to be transformed into something alive, hopeful.

Happy International Women’s Day!