The Adult RE class in January was advertised as “…we need to come together as a community to act on our Principles and heal together. What does that mean for each of us? For our Fellowship? What will you do? What will we do?”
We had almost 40 people attend our meeting in the Gallery. We did an opening exercise to explore where each of us were emotionally based on the tumultuous political state of our country. We did this to explore the “needs” of the congregation. We adapted the Kubler-Ross categories of stages of grief and asked people to vote on which category captures their feelings: Denial, Anger, Bargaining/Taking Action, Fear, Depression, Acceptance. The responses showed us that the group was living in Anger, Fear, Depression with an equal number of those wanting to Take Action.
But as we talked, I saw the group needed a safe place to talk, heal, and to be comforted. Yes many people wanted to Take Action—and we will be offering opportunities for that by marching, tabling, connecting, communicating. Yet I saw a true need of providing comfort, safety, and care. People needed their voices heard without judgment. People need a place to express their fears, anger, depression, worry, and also hear optimism and hope. To deny or skip pass these needs is not caring for each other.
I realized that what I feel is what I feel. I cannot assume that everyone else is feeling my needs. This is the greatness of community/church/fellowship. This is why we come together. We need to share our journey and gain solace and perspective from others. We need our voices heard and our fears acknowledged. We need to voice our optimism amongst others who have little.
As we see what unfolds in the coming months and years, may we make this our finest moment by paying attention to the needs of each other as we move more into the public sector with our core message of love, compassion, justice, and equality. The world needs our message—and so does your fellow congregant. May it be so………………Russ