During this time of isolation, we are sharing prayers, poems, inspirational music, videos and quotes that uplift our spirits in a special email newsletter each Tuesday. Here is an excerpt from our March 9 edition.
On March 5th, I listened to Emmanuel College’s 2021 Gandier Lecture, featuring Rev. Michael Blair, General Secretary, General Council of the United Church of Canada. I was moved by his vision of where we go from here as we answer the questions raised in our ESG Lenten series on Unglamorous.
He called covid-19 “the great unveiling” and said it was an invitation to move forward and not revert to what was. He was referring to our required attention to global and local inequities and the need to dismantle systemic racism. He asked us to consider the approach of Rabbi Herschel, who, every morning, asked the question “where does creation need mending today?”
Rev. Blair recalled the image voiced by Dr. Martin Luther King for the “beloved community”. He indicated that this new world will be characterized by interconnectedness, justice, and love. It will be a place of “luminous and generous brotherhood/sisterhood.” Getting there will require a qualitative change in our soul and a quantitative change in our lives. It is the engagement of nonviolent reconciliation of our society.
This beloved community is a place where….
whatever impacts one, impacts all
any form of injustice is a threat to justice everywhere
there is radical hospitality for everyone
love is the transformative element
the image of God is recognized in everyone
respect and validation are present
trust is the building block
we speak truth
The journey to create the Beloved Community, according to Rev. Blair requires us to:
- Recognize the need for reconciliation: lament that we have been part of a system that has been oppressive to people of colour
- Adopt the mindset that we collectively have a problem that we need to solve together
- Build relationships with communities of colour. We are called to partner with God in the healing of God’s creation.