This I Believe (06-19-16 Sermon)

Sunday’s Meditation:

This past week, on Wednesday, we opened this space for a circle of grief, and rage and resistance, gathering our courage and our hope again following the massacre of so many beautiful souls in Orlando, and holding with fierce tenderness the gay community, the trans community, the LatinX community especially. We lit 50 candles.

One year ago we lit 9 candles here, for the people who killed in Charleston, in their church, and those candles have been lit every Sunday since, for a whole year.

There are not enough candles in the world to commemorate everyone everywhere killed by violence, killed by hate – but we held these 9 because they were killed in their church, their African Methodist Episcopal Church, Mother Emanuel, and because they died doing exactly what we say we are striving to do in our church, which is welcome the stranger, embrace the visitor, embrace the other, as a beloved friend. We say this love is worth the risk.

These words, posted by the Harry Potter Alliance, may guide us, children and adults, as together we walk forward in the light:

“Maybe, on the most literal level, the term safe spaces is a misnomer – a misguiding stand-in for compassionate spaces, transformative spaces, healing spaces, spaces for open and honest communication, spaces to share with people like you and people unlike you and people who will fight beside you. Maybe safe spaces are not spaces at all, but the people in them. Now, more than ever, it’s vital that we keep believing in safe spaces – and building them.

Here is how we move forward: keep loving; keep fighting; celebrate story; laugh, dance, sing – with your friends, with strangers, with every single person who keeps showing up when the world tells them not to; resist hatred; resist cynicism; know none of this is foolish; know that it is necessary; give love and light to those around you and those around the world; be excellent to each other; be good.

Always, always, always: the weapon we have is love. Wands up.”

– Rev. Victoria Safford