|The Fierce Urgency of Now|
|Thursday, February 21 2013 13:29|
Gun safety, climate change, coal trains, fluoridation, immigration, incarceration, marriage equality…there are so many issues to address. Perhaps influenced by politics at the national level or perhaps simply influenced by our pent-up desire to make some progress, it seems that every group feels a sense of urgency to move their agenda ahead…right now.
One of the great blessings of this church is that there are enough of us—with enough organization—to pay attention to more than one issue at a time. Though it may seem a bit chaotic at times as we move our focus from one issue to another, this capacity is a great strength. I just reported to our Board of Trustees that our justice work involves approximately 750 individuals. There are currently 17 Social Justice Action Groups (three new groups formed in just this year) offering avenues for education and advocacy. Look around at the tables in Fuller Hall after services to get a sense of the breadth and the depth of our engagement.
Given the sense of urgency I feel, I want to offer a few thoughts on how we can do this well:
Finally, successes can buoy our spirits and help sustain us. I hope there are many in these coming months. A significant part of our spiritual discipline is to find joy in the work itself. The Buddhist tradition warns of the dangers of attachment. I am still learning from that tradition. Right now, today, what I can say is that I remain committed, if not attached, to outcomes. I also find joy in simply doing the work. Perhaps better said, as religious people we are called to bear witness and call attention to the ways our world falls short of our dreams. To not do that would make a mockery of the principles we claim. We will celebrate victories, but even when we do not succeed, the Spirit of Life speaks through us and our voice itself can be a source of joy and hope.
I will be travelling next week to the annual retreat for Senior Ministers of Large UU Churches. This is a primary support group for me and I always learn much that benefits our church. Look for my next blog on March 7th.