From: RevLauraRuth JarrettI replied:
Sent: Wed, January 20, 2010 11:14:32 AM
Subject: [FirstChurch Mailing List] The election, the earthquake, and Rest and Bread
We had a little political earthquake in Massachusetts. Some of us thought that Martha Coakley would be a shoo in. Some of us thought that Scott Brown would be the best person to represent Massachusetts in the national Congress. Some of us were distracted or were too busy and didn't vote - all of this and a thousand other thoughts, wishes, hopes, and dreams exist in our congregation this morning.
Our work as a congregation is to be community together, to hear each other, to learn from each other, to listen for God's direction and walk Jesus' way of peace, to align ourselves with the divine. Instead of thinking about who is right (or wrong) or what should have happened, instead, I gently and respectfully request we speak together of our spiritual, physical and emotional needs and how our needs informed how we voted. In this way, we may know about how to pray for each other, how to serve each other, how to negotiate complicated ideas and complex needs with simple love and without judgment. In this way, we grow more centered in our purpose, grow flexible in our ability to see God. I pray this might be our journey.
We have a listserv called: First Church Chat for such discussion. You can join it here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/firstchurchchat/
The real earthquake is in Haiti, complete with aftershocks. We raised $2560 to give to the Holy Bible Baptist Church, our sister church in Davis Sq. Owen Robinson, Christy, Simon, Izzy Zuzelo, and I walked it down. We got a quick hug and heartfelt thanks. How amazing it was to be welcomed with our gift into that community!
The folks at HBBC will be putting together survival kits for kids. Myriam from HBBC said they could use some hands to put these kits together. You can see what they're doing and what they need at http://www.holybiblebaptistchurch.org/.
Church World Service is doing the same. You can see what they're doing and what they need at http://www.churchworldservice.org/site/PageServer?pagename=kits_main
We can pray together about all these things, to reaffirm that we are the body of Christ regardless of whom we voted for, that we are all in spiritual need at Rest and Bread tonight at 6:30. Music for meditation begins at 6:15.
Church Council follows.
Peace, dear ones, and love from me,
Thank you for the acknowledgment that not everyone in this congregation/listserv was necessarily anti- Scott Brown.Rest and Bread
And for having a forum other than this main listserv for partisan conversation.
And for reminding us of what we as Church are called to.
The readings were Matthew 5:14-16 and part of an article from today's Boston Globe.
I was a little uncomfortable with Laura Ruth's Reflection because hi, I am just war girl, but I can't really argue with the fact that Jesus' message was about loving and taking care of people.
Afterward, we were invited to reflect aloud (and light a candle) on being a peacemaker, on being light in the world, on seeing light in others. Laura Ruth was the first to go, and she said that she thought that Scott Brown was a nobody, that she didn't have to think about him, but now she does; "I'm sorry." I know I'm not remembering the middle part exactly, but what really struck me was the "I'm sorry" that she said at the end, because what I heard in that was, "I'm sorry for discounting the humanity of a beloved child of God" -- because dismissing people as not worth thinking about is in some ways dismissing their humanity (though yes I know plenty of people just thought of course the Democrat would win and they were merely making a political calculus, not any sort of verdict on any person's inherent worth).
A friend today posted excerpts from G.K. Chesterton's "On Certain Modern Writers and the Institution of the Family," in Heretics, including:
We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbour. Hence he comes to us clad in all the careless terrors of nature; he is as strange as the stars, as reckless and indifferent as the rain. He is Man, the most terrible of the beasts. That is why the old religions and the old scriptural language showed so sharp a wisdom when they spoke, not of one's duty towards humanity, but one's duty toward one's neighbour. The duty towards humanity may often take the form of some choice which is personal or even pleasurable. That duty may be a hobby; it may even be a dissipation. We may work in the East End because we are peculiarly fitted to work in the East End, or because we think we are; we may fight for the cause of international peace because we are very fond of fighting...We may be so made as to be particularly fond of lunatics or specially interested in leprosy...But we have to love our neighbour because he is there-- a much more alarming reason for a much more serious operation. He is the sample of humanity which is actually given us. Precisely because he may be anybody he is everybody. He is a symbol because he is an accident.Much on my mind is this recent slactivist post on "The Logic of Hell" -- which I just read today. And this one, which points out that:
When Jesus stood to read in the synagogue he looked over the whole of the scriptures and selected the one thing he wanted to say out of all that he might have read and he read this as his motto, his mission statement, the signature and standard of his ministry and its meaning:The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.