A Message from Ellen
September 30, 2020
September 30, 2020
When life gets overwhelming and we feel very small and insignificant, we can choose either (1) to shut down and move into protection mode or (2) to open our hearts and minds, pray to see where God is already at work, and join God in that work.
In the next few weeks, I intend to highlight some small, concrete actions you can take to join God at work in the world. In the last newsletter I invited you to watch a video in order to educate yourself on child abuse (signs and responses) so that you will be able to spot abuse and respond appropriately. If you would like to watch this video, just email Shannon Fancher – email@example.com – and ask her send you the link.
Today, I offer you another small, concrete action that you can take to move from feeling overwhelmed and “stuck” to becoming a part of a church on the move to join God where God is active. Please consider attending a House Meeting as a part of our congregation’s Justice Ministry work. In over 30 years of ordained ministry, I have mostly been involved in ministries of mercy that meet needs and relieve suffering (like meal packing events, food drives, school supply collections, etc.). But never before have I joined with other faith congregations to ask our elected leaders for small, measurable actions that will move us toward a more just society. MORE Justice (Midlands Organized Response for Equality and Justice) offers every one of us a chance to do something other than only continue to feed hungry people. MORE Justice allows us to ask why there are so many hungry people and to seek practical, proven solutions.
MORE Justice has been working for the last three years in four areas: Education (especially discipline review and reform), Mental Health, Housing, and Gun Violence. I have learned that Justice actually requires more of us than mercy does. Justice asks us to do more than simply give an offering or write a check. Justice requires self-examination and honesty – even when it makes us uncomfortable. Maybe that is why fewer people are willing to work for justice. But, if you are willing to open your heart and mind and to consider joining with other people of faith in the command of our God to seek justice, then please sign up to attend one of FLPC’s MORE Justice House Meetings by emailing Jodi Beckham (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ellen Skidmore (email@example.com ).
Thursday, October 8th @ 6pm (in person or via Zoom)
Sunday, October 11th @ 3pm (via zoom)
Monday, October 12th @ 6:30pm (via zoom)
In Deuteronomy 16:20a Moses charged the judges and officers of Israel saying, “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue.” And I tell you it is not only a command of Scripture, but it is a way out of the feelings of fear and of being overwhelmed. Let us do the work of God together.
Ellen Fowler Skidmore