I’m glad to be on this year’s Lenten Journey with you. For me, this season has been (and continues to be) a chance to check in with myself and our community about how we’re feeling (hence, doing) as we pass the one-year anniversary of living within the challenges and confines of a global pandemic.
I can’t believe it’s been a year. It’s hard to fathom that we’ll be celebrating another Easter online. Or that we haven’t touched or hugged in twelve months. Or even that, as the number of vaccinations increase and Covid cases decrease, it’s time to start thinking about next steps!
I know many of us have experienced a wide range of emotions this year, which is why my Lenten Sermon Series focuses on feelings: pain, anger, sorrow, fear, and then (for Easter), joy. As Augustine wrote, Christians “are an Easter people.” But the reality is, we experience many emotions that aren’t so sunny. Of course, Augustine wasn’t comfortable with feelings or his physical being. Which may be why he and so many other Church “fathers” came up with doctrines that both invalidate emotions and denigrate the body.
I pray this Lenten Season we’ll begin to develop healthier relationships with our feelings (and bodies). As I’ve preached the past few Sundays, emotions are neither good nor bad, they just are. For example, feeling angry never hurt anyone. It’s what we do with our anger (how we act or behave in response to it) that matters. And research shows that the more comfortable we are experiencing and processing our emotions, the more likely we are to make healthy choices in expressing them.
This Sunday I’ll explore fear, one of the most primitive (in an evolutionary sense) emotions. Fear is basic, it’s important for our survival, and it can be dangerous for both ourselves and others when misinterpreted or ignored. I hope you’ll join me!
Two Advocacy Opportunities (to end homelessness & create affordable housing):
Friendship Place: FP’s mission of empowering the homeless to attain stable housing and rebuild their lives depends on public sector partners and funding as well as private support. Therefore, advocating on behalf of public programs, policies, and funding is essential work for all who support Friendship Place and its mission.
We hope you’ll join the new Friendship Place Advocacy Network (FAN) led by Lynn Amano, their Advocacy and Community Organizer. Those who join will be notified by Lynn whenever you can help advocate to end homelessness by contacting your elected officials. To enroll: Friendship Place Advocacy Network.
DC Affordable Housing: The UCC’s Potomac Association recently endorsed the Housing Justice Priorities of the DC Grassroots Planning Coalition led by Empower DC. We’re encouraging DC residents to email/call their City Council Members and urge them to adopt these Housing Justice Priorities before moving the DC Comprehensive Plan Amendment Act forward. Gentrification (and displacement) is one of the most pressing racial justice issues facing our city. And it’s an issue directly affecting our UCC congregations, as many of our own clergy and members can no longer afford to live in DC.
For more information and direct links to the City Council Chair and other Members: Demand City Council Make the DC Comprehensive Plan Work for Low-Income Residents.
March is Women’s History Month:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 842 0381 2942
Dial by your location
1 301 715 8592
Preregister for the Covid Vaccine NOW: If you’re a DC resident age 18 or older, you can preregister for the Coronavirus vaccine at vaccinate.dc.gov. If you’re a MD resident, you can preregister at massvax.maryland.gov. If you’re a VA resident, you can preregister at vaccinate.virginia.gov/preregister. Hooray!
May God Be with You and Yours,