This past Sunday, we opened worship by singing We Walk His Way, a song that proclaims “the tree of freedom blooms by his empty grave...we walk his way!” At Bethany, we are trying to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, a way of love, justice, comfort and healing, especially for the most marginalized people. These days there are many opportunities to walk in the way of Jesus:
Ann Ridge, Judy Beaupre, and I attended the annual Faith-in-Action assembly of Community Renewal Society. In a packed church, we heard from a fantastic panel of leaders on “Dismantling Racism: Where do we go from here?” We also took part in a corporate prayer of lament, grieving racism’s destructive effects on all lives, and as part of the beloved community, answered a call to action to dismantle racism.
Alicia Ervin, Judy Beaupre, Rachelle and Nola Amlin, Kate Amlin, KMo and Ruby Bresky, and many, many other friends and members of Bethany were at the Chicago Women’s March on January 21st.
On Sunday, January 22nd, Robin and Bryan Schultz, Ann Ridge, Judy Beaupre, and I joined a conversation at Pilgrim Lutheran with Kim Snoddy, a representative of Refugee One. There, we learned about how to sponsor a refugee family. We at Bethany will meet with Refugee One after church on February 19th to learn more; we would like to commit to helping a family — as soon, that is, as the country opens our borders once again to those fleeing their homes.
Hundreds of people gathered at Sulzer Library on Wednesday, January 25, for a community forum on refugee resettlement and support. Among the hundreds were many Bethany folks, some of whom couldn’t get in to the event!
Vince and I joined the emergency protest at O’Hare on Jan 28, following President Trump’s executive order halting the arrival of any refugees, and banning the arrival of people from 7 countries, including those who already hold green cards. Apparently numbering in the thousands, protesters chanted, like others around the country, “No hate, no fear! Refugees are welcome here!”
Soon after the election, my father said, “This administration is going to be a lot of work.” Looks that way. We hope here to keep hope and our imaginations alive, and to be strengthened, emboldened, and encouraged for the journey ahead.