I've been reading some Carter Heyward recently, finding inspiration and challenging words which speak to a number of issues the church and our society have been struggling with. I'm headed off to St.Louis Pride this weekend and thinking of the recent ACC decision. Heyward, an Episcopalian priest and theologian, in her book Our Passion for Justice: Images of Power, Sexuality and Liberation, has this to say for those working for a more just world.
"God needs us. Our committment. Our hearts. Our touching and our pleasures. Our bodies, including our common sense, our intelligence, our friendships, our love. God is our liberator, the wellspring of all that we do on behalf of humans and of the earth. And just as surely, we ourselves are liberators of God. Not somebody else, older, wiser, sharper, more astute; we are those upon whom our God depends in the ongoing creation, liberation and blessing of the world."
And of the christological litmus test the right wants to place on the UCC she writes: "Faith is believing not in Jesus, but rather in the power that goes forth from him: the power of God, which is, by it's nature shared never a possession of Jesus, you, me, the US, or the church. The power of God and the power of all persons with faith in this power, is a shared power-moving, giving, received, passed on, celebrated, held in common as ours, not mine alone or his alone or hers alone. God's power does not belong to Jesus.
It belongs to us, to the extent that we pass it on." And for some encouraging news, the UCC is considering a resolution at this up and coming convention to re-create an office dedicated to helping campus ministry work, an area too long neglected by the mainline. USA Today has a piece on the increasing work and books coming out representing progressive Muslim voices. With a number of pride festivities around the country, the role progressive churches typically play in this gets covered in the Boston Globe.