What an Activist Wishes Pastors Would Do …
During a recent speaking engagement, I met Michele, an activist with the United Church of Christ. I told her I am involved in a project that seeks to help congregations become communities of spiritual activists (which you can read about here – and hopefully join the Convergence Leadership Project!). I asked her what she wishes pastors would do to make a positive difference in today’s dangerous context. Here’s what she sent … (Thanks, Michele!)
To: Brian McLaren
From: Michele Mudrick, Legislative Advocate Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ
Re: Follow up from MA, CT and RI United Church of Christ, Super Saturday on 3/18/17 in Massachusetts. You asked me to send you an email with things I’d like pastors to do.
I am the woman that asked you a question at Super Saturday on 3/18 in Massachusetts during the morning session workshop and you suggested I email you what I’d like pastors to do.
I mentioned how churches are really good at doing direct service work, of collecting coats, food etc, but not so good at working on social justice issues and how it is challenging sometimes to get pastors to act for social justice concerns because people in his/her congregation do not agree with the social justice concern.
Here are some of my ideals on what I’d like pastors to do:
- Even if it is uncomfortable and even if some congregation members do not agree, if someone asks a pastor to get involved in a social justice issue and the pastor personally supports the issue, it would be great to see the pastor get involved, even if some church members would not be supportive.
- To follow what they know is the right thing to do, to do what feels right to them in the name of justice, even if some church members feel differently.
- To engage and encourage church members that do feel called to do work on social justice issues to do so, even if some members of the congregation feel differently and to encourage those church members to reach out to the other members who feel differently and have a discussion on the issue.
- Lift up people in their church that want to work on Social Justice initiatives and celebrate them and make known within the congregation what they are doing.
- Think about dropping one direct service project next year and taking up a Social Justice project instead.
- Visit the State Capitol with members of their congregation, visit with legislators and share their concerns on different social justice issues.
- If a congregation member asks them to have an event on a social justice issue, even if there is hesitation from other members, as long as there are a few that are interested in having the event to still have it.
- During the offering time, collect letters to legislators, as well as money. Have a two minute mission moment during a Sunday where people can find out about a social justice issue and who their legislators are by texting their zip code to 520-200-2223 . Encourage their congregation to sign letters to legislators on a particular issue and put them in the offering plate with their financial offering. Someone from the Congregation can mail or hand deliver the letters.
Thank you for all your work!
CT Conference, United Church of Christ