Feeling heavy-hearted about the reality in our world today? Watching the news and listening to the anger-filled tirades being launched in our country leaves me feeling hopeless too, on some days.
Many days; if I am honest with myself.
As I was reflecting on this struggle, I received a text message from one of our members, “Still hopeful?” I smiled, what a gift to have someone check on me. A few minutes later, I ran into one of our members on campus who showed up to check on a small fix on the property. We had a long conversation about how we each were heart-broken about the enormities of the problems that our world and country are facing.
And yet, as I stepped back and reflected on the week as a whole - participating, on behalf of Prince of Peace in a Zoom call to create meaningful conversations and relationships in our Silicon Valley community, helping formulate our next online faith education, speaking with staff about how we continue to be a voice in the world, seeing Cathy and John picking up lunches to be delivered to the Family Shelter, and all the emails going around about how we are staying connected to one another and our neighbor
… it struck me right in my heart…just like Jesus and his disciples were a small crew of people who believed that the world could be better, so, too do we. As much as we are facing an incredible amount of discord and systemic issues, we are, as a faith community, one of the many communities and individuals who are slowly, deliberately doing the “next right thing” as Anna sings in Frozen 2. When all seems lost, all we can do is the next “right thing.” This is what Jesus shows us, time and time again in scripture. He cared for and healed those in his immediate proximity, he did what was right, one person, one crowd at a time.
At the beginning of the year, during our Annual Meeting, Prince of Peace took a step to do the “next right thing.” We voted unanimously to become a Reconciling in Christ congregation. After months of hard work, education, and self-work, we voted through a new welcoming statement and committed ourselves to a deeper level of openness, hospitality and ally-ship.
And since then (pandemic aside) we have been working hard to ensure that the language we use, the property we steward, and the people who encounter us know that we (although not perfect) are trying to be a community that supports our LGBTQIA+ members and friends. We are passionate about modeling a more just and diverse community, and we care deeply about how all humans are treated regardless of their citizenship or life’s circumstances.
I am proud of the ways that we are living into that welcome and hospitality. We can always be better, of course, but in the midst of a time when anger and frustration are so common, please remember that it is the cause of love, most clearly lived out in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, that will help us turn the world upside down as the book of Acts writes.
In this month where our country celebrated PRIDE, may we be a voice for healing for those who have been hurt by Christianity, may we continue to be a community that offers hope to a world that needs it.