It’s time. As a nation we have been stuck long enough. The old arguments have gone on so long we know each other’s lines and no longer hear one another. The recent tragedies in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Minnesota must bring us to our senses and to our knees. It’s time for everyone to leave their carefully constructed positions and come to center where we kiss the cross, weep together, and find a way to walk hand in hand into the future. It’s time.
Our Presiding Bishop has called on our Church to be agents of resurrection in the face of division and violence. To that end, he has called us to prayer and I join his call. Pray for peace. Pray for communion. Pray for a new way to open. Pray for our leaders to lead. Pray for the common love of humanity to open the hearts of all people. Most of all, pray for hope. (You might begin with the prayer “For the Human Family” on page 815 of the Book of Common Prayer.) It’s too easy to despair and make our worlds smaller to protect ourselves from the pain. There’s a reason so few people stayed at the cross, yet we proclaim it is the door to resurrection.
I ask you to do two things. First, believe that change can begin where you are and have a ripple effect. There is little we can do about race relations or the perception people have about the police in Dallas, but we can do something about our common bonds where we live. We can take a hard look at the divisions that exist in our communities around race and class and national origin and politics and gender and sexual orientation. Second we must move to the center. We must be agents of hope and resurrection. If we begin with honesty and prayer and conversation, God will show us a way and we must have the courage to follow where the Lord leads. It’s not whether the world can change; it’s whether we believe we can be agents of that change.
To that end, our province of the Episcopal Church, Province IV, has put for a challenge for our dioceses to think of “bold ideas” to “make life better for all God’s children” and has set aside $20,000 in 2017 (see the link below). We are invited to write grants and collaborate with other dioceses. If you have an idea about a grant or a proposal, send them to my office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It’s time. Let us mourn and pray and come together to act for God’s reign of peace, justice, and mercy.