This is a statement from Nicole on behalf of the Left Hand Church co-pastors, which we will use to open our service this evening.
I know this week has been difficult and regressive. We saw the government of this country, where many of us live and practice our faith:
- move away from the separation of church and state,
- move away from gun safety, and
- move away from reproductive rights.
We saw it move towards a theocracy, and one that claims Jesus for their purposes of power.
For all of those in grief that the word Christian is becoming synonymous with this agenda, I am with you.
In terms of how I feel about being a Christian today, well, you have my every working minute dedicated to supporting the existence, survival and thriving of this community and other progressive Christian communities like it. I believe one of our central purposes is to be a bright and differentiating light that shows a different way to follow Jesus.
In terms of how I feel about my country today, I echo the words of my co-pastor, Paula:
I am a Christian. I am not anti-religion, pro-abortion, or against the Second Amendment. I believe in a nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. There was a time I thought we were on our way to realizing that dream. I still believe we can realize that dream, but not unless we work to restore the rights of women, to protect the lives of LGBTQ+ people, to keep our children safe in school, and to keep our nation a place in which we have freedom of religion, not the tyranny of the far right expression of one religion.
Many of you have expressed hard feelings and hard histories to me, and to others on our pastoral team, this week. Many of you are worried about what comes next in this agenda.
To each of you, I say: you are not alone. We are here to listen and love you through this. In case you need to hear it today, I will say it again: there is nothing on this Earth that can separate you from the love of the God who created you.
Several of you have asked me what you can and should do. My answer to those questions is always going to be some version of this:
When Jesus left us, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within each of us. Those feelings you are having, they are a signal to turn inward and spend time feeling where and how She is compelling you to act.
Then layer upon that calling the directive that Jesus gave us: to love God, neighbor and self. Be loud, loves, and be loud with love.