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June 10, 2018: Faith in Action!

by Elizabeth Terry

As Father Jadon mentioned last week, our Presiding Bishop came to Washington recently along with clergy from various Christian denominations to promote the “Reclaiming Jesus” movement. More than a dozen of our parishioners took part. Linda Mahler called the event “exhilarating,” adding, “It renewed my belief that we Christians really can all be one.” Junior warden Greg Lebel said he especially appreciated Bishop Curry’s reminder “to love your neighbor, whether or not you agree with her or him. It emboldens us to speak out against discrimination and name-calling.”

Another mighty speaker, civil rights activist William J. Barber, preached last Sunday at the National Cathedral, and a handful of parishioners, including yours truly, was in the congregation. Reverend Barber repeated again and again the line from Psalm 118 about the stone which the builders rejected becoming the chief cornerstone, underscoring the message that those who have been rejected and neglected historically are rising up today to lead. The packed Cathedral burst into a prolonged standing ovation following the sermon. It was pretty extraordinary.

Rev. Barber is co-leader of The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, inspired by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s movement of the same name. This campaign is in the middle of a 40-day nationwide blitz, bringing a variety of faith-based and activist groups together for rallies, teach-ins, and more. I attended its most recent Capitol Hill rally and heard an amazing series of speakers on issues related to health care and environmental pollution.

vEnessa Acham has been absorbing the campaign’s model for communications; for example, when asked by a reporter about Bishop Curry’s royal wedding sermon, she pivoted to say that the attention around it should be turned to children affected by tainted water in Flint, Michigan. Our deacon intern, Lesley Krauland, is volunteering with the campaign, and says, “Listening to courageous citizens talk about real difficulties they face has stirred my conscience. I don’t want simply to say I am a follower of Jesus Christ; I want to be Christ-like. I want to show up, stand up, speak up, and walk with friends for peace, security, and justice for all.”

There are still several chances this month to take part in the campaign’s local events, including a Call to Action Mass Rally on the National Mall on the morning of Saturday, June 23. If, like Greg Lebel, you’d like to see “Christians who subscribe to the inclusive, compassionate, and loving message of Jesus stand together,” now you know where to find them—I mean, us! 

Last Published: June 7, 2018 1:00 PM
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