We, your pastors, have made a commitment in this Covid time to reach out to you each week with a letter (an email, actually) to let you know that you are always in our hearts and on our minds. Perhaps you’ve noticed. We are determined to offer a pastoral word each week, by way of encouragement, connection, comfort and challenge. None of us have lived through such a time of extended crisis, although most of us have experienced all the feelings that are coming up– among which are grief, loneliness, isolation, discouragement, and a sense of being overwhelmed. We also know that many are experiencing renewed commitment, a clearer sense of purpose, and a focused energy. And we know all of those responses can exist within the same heart.
We know that being a part of a community, and having a personal and communal faith in something beyond ourselves that holds us in love and compassion, can help us face such a time as this. So we write, every week, for ourselves and for this congregation, offering again a connection to one another and a connection to faith.
Some weeks you might read every word of this letter. Other weeks you might not even have the time to open the email. ?Some weeks we may offer just what you need. Other weeks our words might resonate with someone else but not with you. Always, though, when you see “A note from your pastors” show up in your inbox, may you know we are here, offering our hearts to you all in solidarity in this time.
This week our attention as a nation has turned to politics, not only with political conventions of the nation’s two major parties unfolding over these two weeks, but also with the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex…”
Yet even as we celebrate this anniversary we recognize that it took another 40 years for that right to be extended to Black women in the South. And we recognize the efforts at voter suppression that are happening even now, which disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color.
As a community of faith, we are not partisan, but we are certainly political. That means we care about the ways justice shows up (or doesn’t) in our systems, our structures, and in our governance. It means we support voting rights for all. It means we encourage all who are eligible in our congregation to register and to vote. It also means we encourage one another to vote our values of compassion, inclusion, and social justice.
Brittany Packnett Cunningham, co-founder of Campaign Zero, an organization working to end police brutality, says, “If our movements are not as inclusive and equitable and just as the world we are trying to create, then we will get to the world we’ve created and realize we’ve left a lot of people behind.”
We wholeheartedly agree.
As people of faith, we are working through the grace and power of God to participate in God’s Kin-Dom. As you celebrate this week’s Centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, as you listen this week and next to the political conventions and to the values expressed there, and as you do your own work for love and justice in the world, know that we, your pastors, continue to pray for you and to cheer you on. May we be workers together in the vineyard, harvesting the abundance of God’s dream of community- inclusive, connected, and available to all.
As always, if you are in need of support, please reach out. Our contact information is included here.