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Pastor Tara Goes to Washington!

The leadership of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ has organized a bus trip for both lay people and clergy to Washington D.C. Jan.19-22 (the weekend of the inauguration) as a means of greater engagement in social justice issues. My daughter, Vanessa, and I will be participating in this weekend of listening and witnessing. The schedule is to spend Friday partnering with other faith communities in the DC area for a day of education and reflection on social justice concerns facing our country’s religious and ethnic minorities. In the evening we will attend a dinner and interfaith worship service hosted by Emmaus United Church of Christ in Vienna, VA. On Saturday we will participate in the Women’s March on Washington demonstrating our faithful commitment to radical love and a vision of a more just and generous world for all people.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Women’s March on Washington, here is an excerpt from its statement of mission: “The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear. In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us. We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.” (Source: https://www.womensmarch.com/mission/).

Scripture makes clear that we have a moral, ethical, and religious imperative to care for the vulnerable and Jesus’ ministry was one focused on caring for and lifting up those excluded from full participation in communal life.

I ask for your prayers for safe travels and for our actions to bring awareness to these issues of social justice as we seek to further God’s vision of a just world for all. Be sure to check out the February Heartbeat newsletter for an account of our journey.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Tara