As Donald Trump’s stunning upset victory in Tuesday’s presidential election continued to send shockwaves across the country, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York opened its doors Wednesday night to provide a space for the community to meditate and reflect.

The Rev. Lyn Cox of the York City church led around 25 people through readings from Scripture and several poems before asking each of them to give voice to their feelings.

“Grief.” “Concern.” “Compassion.” “Sadness.” “Darkness.” “Devastated.” “Violated.” “Disappointed.” “Unsure.” “Anxious.” “Disrespected.” “Scared,” the crowd murmured.

The group learned new ways to center themselves within their upturned worlds through the use of meditation and sang songs of comfort and action “to amplify the voices of the most vulnerable,” Cox said.

“The voices that are hardest to hear, the voices that are most impacted by the rhetoric of hatred, are the ones that we have to listen to the hardest,” Cox said.

After one woman stood up and shared her belief that the community must find moments of connection with one another, the group joined hands at the front of the room.

“These are the hands and the feet and the bodies that will form friendships, sing together, comfort one another, challenge one another, organize together, advocate together, agitate together and create change together,” Cox said. “These are the hands and the feet and bodies that will answer the calls to love again and again. As we breathe in, we gather the strength of this community. May we find peace in our hearts by working for justice. As we breathe out, we commit to sharing love, for the best of what is and the best of what can be.”

Cox said she hosted the gathering Wednesday night because she felt her congregation and members of the community needed a moment to come together after such a divisive presidential campaign and election.

"I was very sensitive to people who were hurt by the heightened rhetoric, who were hurt by talking about sexual assault, who were hurt by the xenophobia, who were hurt by the racism,” Cox said. “We needed to be able to ground ourselves and get ready to work on those dynamics, which were going to be present no matter who won.”

Charles Kress, of York City, said he attended the gathering with his congregation to show support for his fellow community members.

Kress, 63, said he was sad about the election results but is “looking forward to the future” and to continuing to reach out to people to create a sense of community.

Read or Share this story: