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Weekly Words for the Journey

To My Beloved PBBC Community

“We can’t fight our way out of violence, only love can do that.
We can’t fight our way out of racism, only love can do that.
We can’t answer brutality with brutality, that’s the job for love to do.
We can’t blame our way out of systemic racism, love has to do that,
love of ourselves, love of our families, love of our communities.
That will guide us to find a new way.
Because love is the most durable power in the universe –
death is not…
And our job as human beings on this earth and this country too
is to decide to become better not bitter.
As we press for justice, we must move with dignity and discipline,
using only the most powerful weapon, the weapon of love.
…We must avoid blaming, scolding, attacking, destroying.
We must avoid violence, we must avoid destruction.
We must focus on building not breaking –
on lifting not crushing,
on helping and hoping.
Beloved, we must start to use our tender hearts that are so broken,
our beautiful minds that are so critical,
and our overwhelming grief to fuel a more excellent way.
Some say it’s impossible, we’ve gone too far
…but we have never outpaced God.
We have never outpaced the power of the Holy Spirit.”
(The Rev. Cheryl Harris, newsletter of The Ministers Council, ABC/USA)

“To clasp hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising
against the disorder of the world.”
(Karl Barth)

The images of face masks and empty buildings have been replaced by the images of protest signs and burning buildings, but our hearts continue to grieve just the same…for lives lost and lives taken, for the suffering of this pandemic and for rage against the sin of racism. We long for new images…of help and hope, of communities reopening and communities rising up, of safe gatherings and peaceful marches, of God’s people all kneeling in prayer and solidarity.

May we listen to the voices shouting in the streets, accept our own responsibility for injustice, and find a new way. May God turn anger into action, war into peace, and hatred into love.

In the name and spirit of George Floyd and all those who have gone before him…
Pastor Claudine