Thank you for your advocacy and witness in these challenging times...
Over the past six months, you have generated over 30,000 letters on a multitude of issues including immigrant detention, refugees, war with Iran, environmental justice, voting rights, U.S.-Cuban relations, reproductive health care, and Middle East peace. UCC Justice and Local Church Ministries Associate General Minister Rev. Traci Blackmon once said, “I know the struggles will continue. I know that before this day ends, there will be something else. But just for a moment, I invite you to pay attention to the strength of our collective voices. Pay attention to the power of our collective prayers. Pay attention to the miracle working power of God, and allow yourself one moment of joy." It is important that we take the time to reflect on the power of our stories and voices as advocates. We can and do make a difference each day in seemingly impossible circumstances.
The work of faith-based justice advocacy is a marathon, not a sprint. I have run two marathons in my life, and I learned the importance of pacing, stopping at water stations, and celebrating every small step toward the goal. As we approach the 2019 August congressional recess, remember to take Sabbath time to reset, rest, and recharge. Finding moments and spaces to reconnect in a deep way to the Holy Spirit and our call to do justice is, itself, part of the work. Tempting though it may be to push past the water stations and push ourselves harder, the result is a spirit depleted of the resources needed to do the work.
Maybe take a moment to do some meditation (Meditation Studio App: Free meditations posted weekly), delve into introspection with Rev. Dorhauer’s Into the Mystic podcast, or get inspired with a A Pep Talk from Kid President. Whatever it is, take time this August to tap into those things that sustain our spirits and keep us in the race. I’ll close now with a meditation on hope from Vaclav Havel that I’ve been ruminating on:
“Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. It is an orientation of the spirit and orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. The more propitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper the hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
Courage in the Struggle,
Washington D.C Office
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries