What carries you when times are hard? What keeps you engaged when action can seem pointless? What do you offer to others around you who are feeling that same sense of hopelessness?
These timeless questions of religion have been around for generations, and we, in our tradition in these times, must engage with them anew. Both within our day-to-day lives and within the larger frame of our faith, we are asking these questions and will be called call upon to answer them in many ways in the coming months.
Will we vote and reinforce our belief in the Democratic process, even when the candidates all disappoint us? Will we encourage others who are feeling disillusioned to engage in the long game of democracy rather than to cede our nation to those who would allow the moneyed elite to run it? Will we talk about what we believe with those who may be feeling discouraged from participating in the democratic tradition? Will we continue to give our time and money to the organizations that keep values which affirm the worth and dignity of all and our interdependence with one another alive in a time when these values face annihilation?
And, as important, will we as individuals and as a congregation engage in an ongoing conversation about what our faith needs to be in these times? These are the questions that will be raised at our general assembly of congregations from June 19th through 23rd in Spokane Washington. These are the questions we are asking in the Minister’s class on “Counterweight Values for Our Times” held on first and third Wednesday nights this year. These are the questions that we need to take into our homes, our work in the world, and our shared lives together.
In times like these, we must step up and be fully what we need to be. There are many ways to engage, please choose engagement, please choose hope, please choose to live into our values and to offer them to a world which needs them so.
With gratitude, Leslie
Rev. Leslie Takahashi serves as the Lead Minister of the congregation. She has a weekly blog on mduuc.org and can be reached at leslie@mduuc.NET.