Mid- Hudson Refugee Solidarity Alliance

The story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp has touched
and inspired many of us in recent months. The Ken
Burns production of Defying the Nazis: The Sharps War
which PBS broadcast nationwide in September brought
the story into our homes and hearts.
The story reached a national audience and beyond.
PBS has reported 1.5 billion impressions (the number of
times a post or ad is displayed) of ads for the film and
the curriculum, We Who Defy Hate. PBS is in
negotiations with their international counterparts, and,
so far, the film will be shown next year in Brazil, Israel,
and the UK.
Sharon Welch, who serves with me on the UU Peace
Ministry Network Leadership Team, has been involved
in the film and curriculum project from her position of
Provost and Professor of Religion and Society at
Meadville Lombard Theological School.
She stressed recently the key message of both
projects: the film is being used to spur creative
responses to the current refugee crisis. The focus is not
the Sharps per se.
Stories like Defying the Nazis connect us to our past
and the larger narrative that is Unitarian Universalism.
They remind us of our identity. They remind us of who
we are. They ground us in our common history and
heritage and guide our actions in the present—if we let
them. They remind us that our neighbors are the people
who need us most, no matter where they live.
I’m proud to be a steward of a noble heritage
embodied by people like Waitstill and Martha Sharp, a
heritage of extending radical hospitality to displaced
peoples and promoting justice and compassion among
the suffering. Given the conditions of our world, and the
mounting refugee crisis in our time, I am also daunted
and challenged.
As your minister I am expanding our outreach and
community partnerships as a member of the Mid-
Hudson Refugee Solidarity Alliance. What will be our
creative response? What story do we wish to write
about ourselves?
In service,
Chris J. Antal