I pray this finds you well.
Some of you know that I am involved with an organization called Isaiah, which is a multi-racial, state-wide, nonpartisan coalition of faith communities fighting for racial and economic justice in Minnesota. This week a number of clergy from Isaiah met to discuss the recent decisions to open up our economy locally and nationally, and the results of the recent Minnesota legislative session. There is much controversy over these things. In our group, we felt at best confused about what seems to be the gap between what the best medical experts are telling us and what many governments are permitting to re-open the economy. We also were very disappointed that several Minnesota legislative resolutions did not pass—resolutions which would have improved the support systems for the most vulnerable in our community during this crisis, and which would have addressed the historical issues of poverty, race, immigration, and violence.
Isaiah clergy leadership, me included, is asking that we all voice our opinions via print and social media. We are collectively concerned about what this crisis illuminates about our connectiveness, our spiritual fiber, as people of faith. In our scriptures, God calls us repeatedly to protect the vulnerable: the aged, the orphan, widow, immigrants, and the prisoners. Clearly, many in these groups will experience the greater impact of this virus, as well as the decisions we make or do not make at a governmental level.
Every day as we encounter scripture, and attempt to discern, What is the Gospel Calling us to do, we are challenged with that call to action and mission. Our Presiding Bishop encourages us to vote, and to participate in the public conversation to reflect the values of the Way of Love. To love one another as Jesus loves us. However you discern God calling us to love one another in our civic life, I strongly encourage you to participate in sharing your views with your elected officials, phone calls, letters to leaders and to print and social media, and ‘at a distance’ with your neighbors and families. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us ‘God did not give us a spirit that is timid, but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled.’ In his August 1963 “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King reminded us that apathy is more profoundly destructive than hate. The prophet Micah calls us to ‘humbly walk our talk’:
“what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God…”
Blessings my friends.