It's something I learned in seminary -- I went to one of our two UU theological schools, Meadville Lombard, and attended the other one, Starr King, for one semester. When you're at a school full of people who want to dedicate their lives to serving our religion, your heart will be broken. Something will go wrong or toxic or just plain hurtful, and it'll hurt all the more because it happened in a place of love and trust and faith.
It happens again and again in our churches and in our ministry, for congregants and ministers both. A congregation will behave badly as a system, and congregation members will leave, hearts broken, from pain that the institution they loved could behave so badly. Ministers will behave badly, too, and people will leave, hearts broken. And people will stay, hearts broken.
For ministers, we will see colleagues we know and love behave badly. We will see a friend leave the ministry, forced out by their own misconduct, and our hearts will break. We will also see friends we love forced out of the ministry for reasons we can't understand, and our hearts will break.
If you stay in this faith long enough, your heart will be broken. Somebody you loved and trusted in this faith will do something you think is so hurtful and incomprehensible, so wrong-headed, that it will break your heart. Or something will be decided that you just can't agree with, and it will break your heart. And then, if you stay long enough, it will happen again and again.
That person who has broken your heart still has inherent worth and dignity; they are still worthy of love.
That system that has broken your heart still has important work and worth to our movement.
This faith that you love still is a vehicle for greater love and justice in this world.
Carry on. Love on.