Sunday Service September 17, 2023

“Healing the Wounds of Colonization”

While researching my settler-ancestors and the land they took for their own in Northern California, I saw that colonization was far more violent than I had learned in school. Indigenous friends introduced me to the Native American idea of “the soul wound”–the deep and ongoing injury of colonization that affects not just the Original People but also perpetrators and the land itself. The soul wound is intergenerational and cumulative. I believe its effect on the perpetrators–where it is near-totally unrecognized–has led to the challenging environmental and social problems we face today. I have been awed and impressed with the healing underway in many Native communities, but we settler-descendants and beneficiaries of conquest are only beginning to see the painful work needed to heal with integrity from the wounds we also carry. Grief, apology, and repair must begin with the truth of what happened. Indigenous elders have said, “We don’t speak of these things without ceremony.” So, I am grateful for this sanctuary space with you–where we can begin to acknowledge the harm done in our name, reconnect with our true human goodness, and heal together.
Service Leaders/Guest: Louise Dunlap
Worship Associate: Judy Withee
Music: Gage Purdy and and Sally Jones
Pianist: Paul Gilger
Share the Basket: Saturday Breakfast for Our Neighbors
Guest Bio: Louise Dunlap – writer, educator, elder, and plant-lover – is descended from early settlers in Napa County, including Napa’s founder, Nathan Coombs. In addition to her book, “Inherited Silence: Listening to the Land, Healing the Colonizer Mind”, Louise has a rich and varied history as a teacher, facilitator, writer, and Buddhist activist. She is an ordained member of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing. Learn more about Louise at:

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