Like many of you, I have been deeply troubled by the rhetoric, hatred and outright lies that have been paraded before us this election season. It seems that all decency and hope for a civil society has given way to a reality television show peddled by our media. Indeed, with the concern for refugees growing to a worldwide crisis, Black lives being lost to police shootings weekly and the growing disparity between those who have and those who don’t it seems, for many of us, that our world is crumbling.
As bad as it is being reported, and as much as we are anxious about our future, the world is not crumbling. We are just better informed through 24 hour media both commercial and social about how much struggle we are in. The reality is that we have been struggling as this imperfect species for a very long time. We are just so much more aware of it now. Naturally, some of us are feeling exhausted and running out of hope.
Well, dear friends, take hope. What we don’t often see, except through social media and our own experiences are how often ordinary people are helping other ordinary people. We are more isolated in some ways due to on-line relationships. But in other ways that media is also helping us connect to one another and, in some parts of the world, start needed revolutions. Whatever happens after this election, the world will not end. We will still have good work to do and we will still have this beloved community to hold us.
That said, I found this piece from the congregational consultant David Brubaker:
“As the walls come tumbling down around our institutional infrastructures, the local congregation may emerge as the ideal locale to build genuine community rather than institutional structures. Local congregations offer three critical currencies no national institution can match: face-to-face connections, local decision-making and meaning making” (“When the Walls Come Tumbling Down” in Perspectives: Congregational Consulting Group, Sept 2016)
In other words we have a unique opportunity as a congregation to provide some hope and stability to those neighbors and friends we know who need a place that they can trust, especially over the next several months.
Our spiritual theme for October is Healing. I invite you to join us on Sundays to help yourself and those around you to heal. October will also be “Bring a Friend to Church” month. Help someone you know find a place of hope amidst the struggle and the rancor of our troubled times. Invite them to church, introduce them to me. Let’s be the change. Starting right now.
See you in church, Rev. John