From Your Co-ministers — In a Time of Tense Turmoil

Trying to figure out what to say or do in the face of so much ongoing hatred and violence is hard, maybe impossible. It can feel like the world has gone mad. People are mowed down in the streets by trucks and by guns. Police are killing, then being killed. Neighbors spew vitriolic nonsense at each other because they espouse different political views. And if you qualify as “different” you can feel like a target.

At times like these it can be tempting to put your head in the sand, or just scream and yell, or cry. It’s so hard to know how to respond to the sad craziness around us.

It may seem like an overly simple response to a very complex problem, but one thing we can do is be together and build beloved community locally, i.e., come to church. We can create in a small, but important way the world we hope for.

Much of the deeper conversation going on about today’s cultural challenges pivots on the breakdown or devaluing of socially binding institutions that once sustained us, such as religious organizations. While some, at their worst, contribute to the violence and racism that is built into the fabric of our nation, many also hold places where people can come to be reminded of their best selves.

It’s worth remembering that many of the great changes that have unfolded in our nation—from Abolition to Civil Rights to GLBTQ rights—emerged and were supported by the progressive religious community. Our religion can make a difference, externally and internally, at times like these.

So come to church—to mourn, laugh, protest, sing, and just be together with people who care about making a more peaceful and loving world. Come to church to take a break from your devices and the 24-hour news cycle. Come to church to hug a friend or shake hands with a stranger. Come to church to remember what counts: Love and Unity in all things.

And why not bring a friend? Some folks you know may be hungering to be in community with progressive and caring people. Many people think church and religion are only for people with specific and narrow beliefs or dogma. Ours is different.

Revs. Barbara & Jaco ten Hove

P.S. With the exception of the first few days in August, we will be home and working. Please let us know if you want some time with us. We are here for you.