September 27 Service: See No Stranger: Loving Others – Fight

Mark your calendar for October 18; it will be the date of our Annual Meeting. It is the first time we are holding it at this time of the year. A year ago, we changed when our fiscal year ends. It runs now from September 1 through August 31.

We invite you to join us on Zoom following the Sunday Celebration Service. Not only has the date changed, but so has the format due to COVID-19. This is an invitation to all!

I am glad that I decided to focus on the book See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love written by Valarie Kaur. I find it to be appropriate for the times we are in right now.

I want to share from the chapter on “Fight” that I didn’t speak of on Sunday. Valarie is sharing about the spring of 2003 when our country was preparing to go into Iraq after 9/11. She was a student at Stanford and recounts an evening where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr came alive at a one-man production. She says when she returned to her dorm room her skin tingled and her throat ached as if her words were stuck.

She reached out to her best friend Brynn who was a student at Berkeley. Brynn had also been at an event that night and heard scholar-activist Edward Said and when they talked, they both felt a deep desire to respond.

Their conversation went like this…” What do we do? What do we do?” They knew they needed to do something.

Valarie said, “I’m not smart enough, I’m not good enough. I don’t know enough. But it’s like something deep in me that’s aching to get out.”

Brynn responded, “Oh my god, we’re pregnant. We are going to birth all that’s inside us. It’s going to be painful, but we just have to trust that it will come. And we’ll look back and remember the night we were confused and uncertain.”

Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. — John Lewis

Valarie and Brynn didn’t have this quote then;; however, they do now and so do we.

What motivates you and me to show up and fight for a cause or to protect someone?
Who will we fight for!
What will we risk!
What breaks our heart!
What causes our fists to clench!
Our jaw to tighten!
Our heartbeat to quicken!

Honor that in ourselves… that is telling us something… we are alive and have something worth fighting for. We are pregnant and something is wanting to be birthed.

Your spiritual action steps for this week…

Writing exercise:
• In what ways were you taught about fairness and justice?
• What issues do you care most deeply about?
• What is your role in this moment?

Here is an action:

Work in solidarity with other communities by learning how to act as a strong ally or accomplice.

Know that the act of allyship (or acting as an accomplice, as indigenous leaders offer) is necessary and requires both commitment and humility.

One starting place is to follow activists and leaders on social media and then listen and learn, without intervening, about what communities need from allies. 

Power without love is reckless and abusive
And love without power is sentimental
And anemic. Power at its best is love
Implementing the demands of justice, and
Justice at its best is power correcting
Everything that stands against love.
— Martin Luther King Jr

I invite you to watch “The InCharge Conversations 2020″ with Valarie Kaur on YouTube:

This coming Sunday the topic will be “rage”!

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.


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