Everything is Connected

What would entice you to sign up for a virtual conference? I’ve wondered this, myself. I am an in-person kind of person. I like to survey the snacks, find my place at the table, flip through the handouts, arrange an assortment of beverages around me. I resist online training.

There are advantages to Zoom; I realize this, with a sigh. I love seeing my far-flung family every week, noticing (for the first time?) when my brothers get haircuts. And though I wish my daughter could attend school, I appreciate when she listens to lectures and bakes chocolate-chip cookies simultaneously. 

To be honest, I rarely attend conferences. They’re too far away. I can justify neither the time nor the cost. Also, I don’t actually want to go anywhere unless it is to see family or friends. So, I have to admit that a virtual conference is terrifically convenient. 

I signed up this morning. And I hope you will, too.  

Locally, a group of predominantly black and primarily white churches have chosen to all attend this year’s Faith in Place virtual conference: A Just Recovery. I do want to hear Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III, a Chicago pastor who’s spent the last two decades practicing and preaching a Black theology that unapologetically calls attention to the problems of mass incarceration, environmental justice, and economic inequality.

Everything is connected. Racism, the COVID-19 pandemic, the environmental and climate crisis are all intertwined. This is beyond the scope of my vision. I am easily overwhelmed. But other leaders are excited. This is their sweet spot, where their work and talent and time intersect to point the way. 

We need hope. And imagination. And the prophetic voices of those who have studied the past, preached in the present, and are praying us through to the future. More than ever, it makes no sense to work alone. We are in this together.

After the conference, local churches will discuss what steps we can take to implement ideas in our community. The more of us who are on the same page, working together, the better. I could never lead in this area. But I can join in, find my place at the virtual table. I can even raid Jubal’s cupboard for snacks to help me think. 

Someday, I want to get back to seeing people in real space, in real time, breathing the same air. But let’s not allow these opportunities to slip past us- to be places we would never be, hear people we would never hear, and be part of a change long coming.

Will you join me?

Service 9/6: Our Children, Our Neighbors
Order of Service 9/6
Bulletin 9/6

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