To Speak Candidly, This Work is Urgent
As a minister, I will serve my congregation by asking: what are the ways that we, as a denomination, can do the difficult work of justice? How can we draw selectively on the good social work of our religious ancestors and expand the boundaries of our beloved community? How can we wed our freeing theology and our love of humanity to radically work with systems of oppression?
And, I will encourage deep work around personal growth. All people (but especially people of relative wealth or privilege) must personally journey about how their social location fits within this analysis and struggle. The task is to relinquish the idea that one’s experience of people of color, queer people, and poor people is the legitimate narrative. It can be painful, confusing, and cleansing work to recognize thoughts that dehumanize others.
And, I will encourage a bursting forth from the naval gaze! It is our duty to fight for justice, riding towards the throws of suffering if only because we too have suffered and know in our hearts that truth-telling and solidarity rest squarely in the heart of our religious beliefs.
To speak candidly, this work is urgent. Our world is changing in a way that leaves many people behind, and, as a religious institution, we have to be there. My ministry is founded on the belief that the deepest love and the strongest preservation of life exist right smack in the heart of the struggle: alongside of and raising up people who are just surviving. There are some questions that we as a denomination have answered. But perhaps there is a place of real, radical hospitality and companionship that would inspire us to ask questions we have never even thought to ask: questions about being more deeply connected and committed to the needs and injustices that exist throughout our world.
“As stewards, lovers, and dependents of this precious earth, it is our greatest calling to think intentionally about how we treat our water, air, plants, and fellow beings on this planet. The earth is our great body. It should be our honor to care for it and our duty to respect and revere that which we are completely and utterly dependent on.”
“This is a question of love: how can we live deeper into our own standard of Standing on the Side of Love? It is our task, as lovers and supporters of LGBTQ people and LGBTQ people ourselves to learn from our own slogan of love and expand outward: queering the boundaries between ourselves and others, giving and receiving love in all directions as a deep expression of our faith.”
“Dignity and survival are central principles of our religion, so we would do well to hear Jesus’ words: that, in the fight for economic justice, we must believe that poverty is not natural. Nor is poverty the result of individual pathology. Poverty is a systemic oppression like the rest of them. Poverty is an affront to the inherent worth and dignity of all people and therefore should be central to our religious life and work.”