This group met again on Sunday, May 20, 12:30-2pm
Twenty hearty souls have signed up to be part of the new and evolving UCP Justice--and maybe Peace--Committee (we’re still in discernment about our name). We are attempting to bring form to what we know is already in the spirit of the parish as we embrace a deep spirituality that propels us to reach out in love, pursue justice and care for all creation. It¹s taking all the fruits of the spirit we can muster!
Yes, it¹s taking love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to imagine together what our peace and justice effort might best entail, i.e. different from the already amazing missions work of the congregation and in a way that has ecumenical integrity, is spiritually sustainable and without unnecessary conflict.
As a result, we have more questions than answers to report and welcome your participation in this tender, hopeful process.
Toward structure, we are leaning toward being a committee of the Board with elements of a spiritual support group for personal growth/sustainability. We are definitely not wanting to be the church’s self-righteous “Holy Justice Club” but instead to inspire the whole church to live more justly. For the time being we will meet monthly after church on Sundays but expect to break into smaller working groups meeting at the convenience of their participants. Kathy Kelley, Louisa Davis and Ken Plum are loosely facilitating things with support from the full staff.
Toward spiritual nurture, as more like a spiritual support group we will use inspirational readings, prayer, song and silence not just to start and close our gatherings but to “marinate” in discernment, especially. since this is work that risks burnout, conflict and discouragement. We imagine, for instance, inviting the congregation to join us in prayer vigils and more songs of justice and peace.
Toward program priorities, we plan to look behind the missions work of the church to ask what is it about how our world is structured and run that is causing unnecessary pain, hunger, homelessness, distress at the elementary school next door, etc. We imagine having small groups looking at LGBT issues, environmental sustainability, war and peace, racial justice, human trafficking, etc. We wonder about exploring “what is justice” and inviting the congregation to a series of issues forums that might help us discern as a congregation how we might focus our efforts.
Please pray for us and feel free to join us in this fascinating process and the spiritual disciplines it is taking to build a strong foundation of vision, faith, and trust in order to be as just, joyful and effective as we can be.