This past Sunday we welcomed Rabbi Doug Alpert, Mahnaz Shabbir, Sergio Moreno, and Diane Burkholder to speak from their various religious and secular traditions about how we can collectively build a more inclusive welcome. We were only able to scratch the surface on this complex topic, but our hope is to turn the words spoken that night into concrete action. The community of God’s people is a society that liberates instead of oppresses, and the beauty of Christian discipleship is that we get to join in the liberating work of making peace anywhere we see violence, be it structural or personal. If you weren’t able to make to our gathering, be sure to check out the podcast and resource sheet!  Mahnaz Shabbir also shared a couple of resources: “Muslim in the Metro Fact Sheet” and “Facts about Islam” from the Crescent Peace Society.

We recognize that all of us have a part to play in this dance that creates a society where some are oppressed. The good news is that this isn’t the end of the story. We all have a part to play in the unfolding of God’s reign on earth, and when all of us learn new moves together, our collective dance will begin to create a society where justice is done and oppression is no more. Below is a poem by Canadian journalist, Merle Shain, which describes the importance of us working collectively for good, regardless of what fuels us to do the work of peace and reconciliation.


by Merle Shain

It is better to light candles
than to curse the darkness.
It is better to plant seeds
than to accuse the earth.
The world needs all of our power
and love and energy,
and each of us has something we can give.
The trick is to find it and use it,
to find it and give it away.
So there will always be more.
We can be lights for each other,
and through each other’s illumination
we will see the way.
Each of us is a seed,
a silent promise,
and it is always spring.
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