Just one month ago, before the bombing of Ukraine started, we felt like we were coming out of a dark place into spring again. Now we’re witnessing devastation on a scale that most of us have never seen. Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Policy, Change and Action must prevail. The photo above is from of one of Rev. Gary’s many slogan T-shirts. It reminds me of one of the directives from author Robin Kimmerer in her book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.
It is not enough to give our attention, we must form intentions /and take action.
About forty years ago I began an intense period of study with Haudenosaunee artists and storytellers in order to create respectful education programs at the Rockwell Museum. In the story of the Founding of the Confederacy, the prophet Peacemaker identifies the Good Mind and the Good Heart; these being seeing clearly and thinking through information; determining what is compassionate and fair for all; and then taking action, especially speaking (for that is the unique talent that we human animals have) being careful to be truthful and compassionate. These actions can be evidenced by the example of how we live or by how we attempt to redress wrongs done to others.
Now some of you may be wondering what church has to do with all this, so I offer a few stanzas from the poem* I read at the organ recitals last week:
Sometimes we humans get stuck in this ancient, primal brain and we delineate who is our own and we lash out against threats we live out of fear we flee we fortify we build walls we lock doors we live life cut off from others/ we are in. you are out. this is our tribe - perhaps a marriage or family or a gang perhaps a gated suburban development/ or rural commune perhaps a church or a denomination or a country – we are in. you are out. and Christ comes to us and says you are more than this I came that you may have life and have it abundantly/ DO NOT FEAR And Christ breaks down walls and Christ opens doors and eats with tax collectors/ and touches lepers and drinks water from the hand of the woman at the well. (I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. DO NOT FEAR.)
Speaking for myself – I need you all to help me figure this out. I relish our time together because it allows me to dream a world beyond what my one brain and two hands can do.
Being church defeats my isolation in a world where I have to constantly turn away from people who are shouting at each other. When I am in your company I can feel peace and possibility.
Nyá wëh skeno guah gay goh. Thanks to Creator that we are together and we are well. (Traditional Seneca greeting)
See you next Sunday, Jenny
* excerpted from New Songs by Susan Palo Cherwien, from her book, From Glory Into Glory: Reflections for Worship.