Here is my wish list for the New Year.
As justice advocates inspired by the teachings of Jesus and the writings of our sacred texts, these are among the things I wish for in the New Year. I pray that together we can move the needle forward on all of these.
For all the refugees and asylum seekers, a new hope found in the remembrance of a nation that once said to the poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free come hither, I light my lamp beside the golden door.
For all children, new pathways to food, to schools free of gun violence, and to restful nights without worry.
For all creation, new commitments to clean water, clean air, clean forests, clean fields.
For the Church, new hope found in faith communities new and old who remember what their mission is and who are willing to do whatever it takes to complete it for the sake of a world hungering for the love and the hope you offer.
For our clergy, a new vision of what your toil makes possible and with that the loss of any fear or doubt that your ministry matters.
For our elected officials, new hearts of compassion for the poor, the oppressed, the immigrant, the children, and the Earth.
For our schools, new funding for all the tools necessary to raise up new generations of learned and curious minds.
For all men, a new and deeper awareness of the full impact of your privilege.
For all women, a newly found belief in your right and your ability to choose your own pathway through life free of the gaze or the grope of others whose interests do not align with yours.
For lovers, new reminders of what drove your heart to your beloved and a new commitment to help the world embrace fully your choices to love another.
For laborers, a renewed commitment to living wages and labor laws that protect your safety, your health, your wholeness.
For teachers, new students with curiosity and playfulness of spirit open to the pathways you can forge for them as they seek to make their way in the world.
For artists, new passion for seeing, hearing, expressing and articulating your truth in ways that expand our sometimes limited field of seeing what is possible.
For the poets and songwriters, new words to inspire new hopes and resolve old fears.
For all – new pathways to peace, to love, to friendship, to hope, to joy, and to harmony between all peoples.
May our swords be beaten into plowshares, our spears into pruning hooks.
May this be the year we learn no longer the ways of war.
May we all live peaceably, each under our own vine and fig where no one makes us afraid.
John C. Dorhauer is General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ.
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