Keep on, keepin’ on. This seems to be our challenge and call as we move through a week that has brought more upheaval and concern to a country already reeling. As I preached last Sunday: “There are only means. No ends. Or, at least, we don’t know what the end will be. That’s why ‘the next right thing’ is all we really need to determine.” So, what is your next step? I’ve suggested a few ideas below:
Multi-Faith Prayer Vigil, 6/29 (TONIGHT)—Faith leaders and others will gather at 8:30 pm at the reflecting pool on Capitol Grounds for a vigil to call on Congress to pass a simple legislative act that would permanently prevent family separation, ensure families be reunited, and mandate migrant families be treated humanely and compassionately. If you plan to attend, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Families Belong Together, 6/30—Join me Saturday for an 11 am rally in Lafayette Square. It’s part of a National Day of Action to demand the current Administration reunite families immediately, cease family detention, and end the “zero tolerance” policies that created this crisis. We’ll meet at National City Christian Church at 5 Thomas Circle for a Pre-Gathering between 9:30 and 10:30 am. This will include prayer, prep for the protest, and info about upcoming DMV Sanctuary Congregations Network actions. If you plan to attend, please email: email@example.com. I hope to see you there!
Write Congress—Bread for the World (BFW)is a faith-based citizen’s advocacy organization that provides information and resources for US Citizens to write their Members of Congress about issues affecting poor and hungry people. For BFW’s perspective on Immigration Reform, see: Immigration Reform. For information (and a link) re: writing your Members of Congress, see: Write Congress.
Practice Self Care—If we’re to keep going, we must keep refueling. Thus, I hope each of you has some sort of summer vacation or staycation planned. I’ll be away the month of July, enjoying some R&R as well as going to the Wild Goose Festival in NC (a faith-based celebration of art, music and story-telling grounded in social justice) and on retreat at Bon Secours with Edwina Gately, one of my favorite mentors. While I’m away, you’ll be in good hands, as the Worship Committee has chosen an amazing July Preaching Fellow.
Tonetta Landis-Aina, M.Div. will preach a series of sermons on the Book of Job, entitled “Sassy Love, Sacred Faith”— Sundays, 7/8-8/5. Tonetta is a recent graduate of Wesley Seminary and has served in ministry positions at Baptist and Methodist churches and as a chaplain intern at the National Institutes of Health. In addition to her seminary degree, Tonetta has a Master of International Affairs and bachelor’s degrees in English and History. Please welcome her!
Note: While on vacation, I’ll be available in case of emergency. For other concerns or to be connected with the appropriate lay leader, please contact our Church Administrator, Meg House: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I share with you a timely and beautiful poem by poet/colleague, Laura Martin. May it bless you as her poetry always blesses me.
If you are angry, let your anger be fire
So it can warm someone chilly.
If you are grieving, let your grieving be a river
So someone thirsty can drink.
If you are numb, let your numbness give you the capacity
To walk in hard places and not feel hurt.
If you are broken, let your brokenness
Be what makes space for new things to enter.
If you are fearful, let your fear be a warning signal
That others may look up.
If you are lost, let your being lost
Make a new place and call it home.
However you are,
However you are,
And know you are Loved,
EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Jorgensen Memorial Fund—We invite you to honor this long time member who died May 20 in Santa Barbara, California. Dick loved our church and its building and grounds, took great interest in any renovations, and helped keep them in period “arts-and-crafts” style. Donations will support renovation of the church library and can be made by check payable to Cleveland Park Congregational UCC, with “Jorgensen” in the memo line. You may also donate via our website, using Vanco or Paypal. Please include “Jorgensen” in the appropriate box when making an online donation.
“Returning Citizens:” Summer Documentary Series, 7/18 (7 pm)— This documentary about a passionate group of individuals seeking a second chance was filmed in Southeast DC. It offers a glimpse into a community greatly impacted by the ongoing cycle of mass incarceration and offers proof that lives can change, www.returningcitizensdocumentary.com. Staff from The W.I.R.E (Women Involved in Reentry Efforts) will attend and facilitate our discussion.
“3AM Girls:” Summer Documentary Series, 8/15 (7 pm)—This undercover piece was part of a documentary television series, “Our America,” narrated by Lisa Ling. She goes out with a former teenage sex worker to witness the “rules of the streets” and see if they can identify young, missing girls. It explores the shadowy, dangerous and tragic world of underage sex trafficking here in DC. Staff from Courtney’s House (www.courtneyshouse.org) will attend and facilitate our discussion.