From our Conference Minister
My friends, Yesterday was Inauguration Day, a celebration of the peaceful transition of power which marks this nation as a democracy and a republic. I hope you had a chance to watch at least some of the event. If not, you likely missed the poem shared by the National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. I excerpt a portion of the poem, “The Hill We Climb” here in this letter:
“…Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew,
That even as we hurt, we hoped,
That even as we tired, we tried,
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious –
Not because we will never again know defeat
But because we will never again sow division.”
These words touch me. They speak to us of perseverance and the building of relationships in unity, one with another. The past year has been a difficult one; more than 400,000 dead from COVID-19, a lack of personal connection in pastoral care and worship, challenges to our finances and our employment. Yet, we are all still connected, all still a part of the one body, the Body of Christ.
This week Christians all over the world have been celebrating the World Council of Churches celebration of the Week of Christian Unity. I have participated through prayer services and meditations, conversations on ecumenism and public and private prayer. I have been reminded again and again that there is one God we worship, one Redeemer we follow, and one Spirit who strengthens us. Yes, we have grieved. Yes, we have been hurt. Yes, we are tired. Yet, as John 15:1-17 (the passage used this week for the time of Christian Unity) reminds us, we abide in Christ and Christ abides in us. Christ is the vine, and we are the branches. We are all connected as faithful followers of Jesus.
So, recognize the grief but also see the growth. Experience the hurt but also know the hope. Be tired but keep trying. We are together, connected and in relationship with one another. May we remember that in the moments, days, weeks, and months ahead.
Authored by Amanda Gorman, provided as quoted from the Tribune Content Agency by Julia Barajas