Greetings WAC Community,
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. – I John 4:12
This week I pondered about how to respond to the injustice around us. I get depressed from the local news about the effects of cuts in state funding and national news about changing Medicaid, a 50+ year program that provides health care for the poor. I could come up with a long list of depressing news, but I won’t. Parker Palmer, a Quaker and activist, said about our times in a live-streamed presentation from St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Denver on Thursday evening, “Hope for woundedness being healed is at risk.”
I never want to see hope at risk. This week I have been blessed with inspirations that give hope.
I was inspired by a nationwide phone call about the proposed health care legislation in Congress led by Dr. William Barber, the organizer of Moral Mondays in North Carolina, and by other interfaith presenters about bringing morality to the current debates in Congress. (Isaiah 10:1 Woe to those who make unjust laws . . .)
I was inspired by Parker Palmer’s speech and by the others who showed up in Riverton to also hear him being live-streamed on finding our soul’s role in forming Beloved Community.
I am being inspired by reading Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love by William H. Willimon, a book recommended to me by Rev. Lynn Evans when I was in Cheyenne. (That book provided me with the scripture I cited above.) Willimon is a professor at Duke University Divinity School and retired bishop of the United Methodist Church.
Barber, Palmer and Willimon share the same themes. One is that what is happening provides us with opportunities. I heard on public radio about a study revealing that people in the United States who go to church are more hopeful than non-churched about what is happening in this country. That’s good news to me, for if we lose hope, we are, as Palmer says, at risk. Willimon begins his book with, “Thanks to fellow Christians Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Ted Cruiz. If not for them, I would not have been asked to write this book. I’m serious.”
Palmer countered our societal obsession with effectiveness. He warned, if we only want to be effective, we will think small. We ought to devote ourselves to love, truth and justice although we can never fully achieve these. He told us that past movements for change only involved 5% of the people, like the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. It doesn’t take all of us, but it does take some of us who do more than sit on the sidelines to watch and complain. Where we are called is where our gifts intersect the needs. Like the bumper sticker says, If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.
But we need not act alone. It takes community: a community of listening, sharing and forgiving. Where is your community where you can bring your gifts to meet the needs for love, truth and justice? Is it possible that our churches, synagogues, mosques and sweat lodges can embody those places?
Fear not. Be bold. Do justice.
P.S. We are looking for a chair of the Peace & Justice Team of the Wyoming Association of Churches. If you are interesting in chairing or being on the team, let me know. 307-761-0755
The Wyoming Association of Churches appreciates your many financial gifts for our justice work in Wyoming for the oppressed. Click Here Or you may mail checks to PO Box 1473, Laramie, WY 82073.
Dates to Remember:
Crow Pipe Ceremony, June 16, Heart Mountain, near Cody
Ecumenical Advocacy Days in DC, April 21-24