Dear Southminster Family and Friends,
I am back from vacation and feel reenergized for a new beginning of life and hope for our good future. I want to thank the many members of the congregation who have shared with me notes of encouragement over the last couple of months in 2020. You have written about being inspired by our church community even in the midst of so much political fatigue. You shared stories of how my words and our worship services, the Christmas Eve service especially, and other gatherings have seemed to open a long-closed door in your spirits, allowing you to reclaim a remembered hope.
My heart is warmed. I too, am “all in” for the hope-filled year ahead. Even though we enter a season of long dark days and lots of rain (ugh!), I typically tell my students on the first day of winter term that this is the quarter with “the most to look forward to.” Every day will bring more sunlight, and on average, more warmth. By the end of the quarter, the sun will be shining on a regular basis (in between spring showers). This year, we have even more reason to look forward. Whether politically, or our church entering a new chapter as we call our next Senior Pastor, or physically, there seems to finally be some light at the end of the tunnel – we seem to be on the verge of reclaiming a remembered hope.
Reclaiming a remembered hope doesn’t come easy – it involves work – work that calls into the trenches of a world and community that is deeply divided. What can we do? Well, let me tell you of one thing that I am planning to do. I have been inspired by Sikh activist Valerie Kaur who is leading an effort to unite Americans under one pledge towards reconciliation and justice for all. On January 21, 2021 I will join my voice with millions of Americans in the “People’s Inauguration” a recommitment to the project of building a nation with liberty and justice for all. Kaur has said: “Sound government is necessary but it is not sufficient to heal and transform America into a society where we are all safe and free.”
The People’s Inauguration will be an event with many parts, including a pledge we will be asked to take, modeled on the pledge our new President and Vice-President will recite the day before:
“I do solemnly vow that I will faithfully execute my role in healing and transitioning America, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend truth, dignity, justice, and joy for myself and for those around me, and that I will do so with love.”
The goal of the People’s Inauguration is to create a tipping point when real change expands by geometric progression, led by love, toward liberation. The goal is for over 10 million Americans to take the vow toward reconciliation. From the website: “When 3.5% of a population engages in nonviolent action to create change, they transform society as a whole. If we mobilize 10.5 million Americans to participate in the People’s Inauguration, we could create a seismic cultural shift that returns us to our core values – and catalyzes a critical mass of people to show up with love in their lives and labors.”
So I invite you to go to the website (https://thepeoplesinauguration.org/) and sign up to participate in this path forward. Regardless of the political turmoil today, there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel, a hope for a world to get back on track, BUT ONLY when we act now with purpose and love in our hearts.
See you on Sunday in worship or maybe even at the People’s Inauguration next week.