Our guest speaker was Rev. Dr. Ryan Polly
COVID 19 has turned our lives upside down and no end is in sight. As a result, we can’t have all the special recognitions that we would normally have. I am referring here to the installation of our Prayer Partners. Under the leadership of Rev. Barbara Kowalska, they had their retreat this past weekend and the next step would be their installation before you, the community. Although we can’t do that at this time, I do want to introduce our Prayer Partners to you. They are Barbara Kowalska, Carolyn Sanford, Mimo Otis, Bonnie Grover, Jack Cole, Jana Brownlee, Hannah Johnson, Hilary Hayes, Jaclyn Ashla, and, new to the team this year, Sandy Watson. Our Prayer Partners are here to serve you and please reach out to Barbara if you would like a call from a Prayer Partner.
This past Sunday we had Rev. Dr. Ryan Polly as our guest speaker. Wow! Ryan gave us a very thought-provoking message on inclusivity. Here is a quote from his message that I believe we may all relate to…
“All too often when things get tough, when someone sees things differently or challenges our beliefs and values in some way, we divide rather than roll up our sleeves, get uncomfortable, and evolve into something greater. It seems that as humans, we much prefer our comfort zones and we avoid conflict as much as possible. After all, conflict is scary, conflict is hard, and conflict is absolutely out of our control.”
The book I of the Storm, which many of you have read and taken the class, sees “conflict” as our souls calling for something greater. And I believe therefore why we are seeing the conflict and chaos in our country now.
And here Ryan says, “But conflict is necessary. It is only in conflict and collective tension that we can emerge as better. It is only through conflict that true community can form.”
Another concept Ryan introduced was from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr…it is the difference between negative peace and positive peace. He said that King said negative peace was worse than hate.
Here are Dr. King’s views …negative peace was about the absence of tension and conflict. Negative peace is a desire for us all to “get along” and a hope that the inequities that lead to civil unrest are simply tolerated or ignored by those experiencing them. Perhaps it will all just go away. Negative peace isn’t truly concerned with community but rather with comfort.
Negative peace involves choosing personal comfort over fighting for something better. It involves avoiding conflict, rather than having the courage to stand up and show up. How often do you accept negative peace as a form of allyship?
Positive peace is about the presence of actual justice and the willingness to right wrongs. Positive peace is messy. Positive peace is uncomfortable. Positive peace is scary. Positive peace means having difficult conversations and doing hard work. Positive peace favors others before self and is an action-oriented energy that strives for the Beloved Community.
There is much more that Ryan had to say and some action steps we can take to create positive peace. I will leave it to you to see what those action steps are by watching the service.
Annual Meeting is this Sunday! Please join us via Zoom; subscribe for the link. We will be voting on two bylaw changes and on new board members as well as sharing what we are working on as we move forward.
Please join us at 10 a.m. next Sunday as we continue the series See No Stranger and will be talking about “listen.”
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey
For your safety, continue to social distance and wear face masks. The church building remains closed for gatherings of all services and group meetings. All business with the church office needs to be via telephone or email.
LET’S STAY CONNECTED!