I am so excited to be going to the “Troubling the Waters” conference and training in April. The gathering takes its title from scripture—John 5:1-9 and Isaiah 43:1-9—along with other texts that tell our story of protest and resistance. It was Biblical values that moved our UCC ancestors to lead the abolition movement. They espoused spiritual resistance while those dehumanized by slavery pronounced their experience of injustice in spirituals. “Wade in the Water,” and other spirituals were messages of lament, hope and courage. 2019 is another time in which people of faith and conscience are called to stand in the prophetic stream of those who have come before us, those who were not afraid to stir up the waters for the sake of God’s kingdom.
Ecumenical Advocacy Days, the organization presenting this gathering, is “a movement of the ecumenical Christian community, and its recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and our shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. Our goal, through worship, theological reflection and opportunities for learning and witness, is to strengthen our Christian voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues.”
I expect to learn about advocacy from veterans and passionate beginners alike. I will return with knowledge of the tools needed for us to be effective Christian witnesses to justice, peace and the integrity of creation. Participants will share best practices and encourage one another for the work ahead. Networking opportunities abound with both geographical and denominational neighbors. Much of our work will be to prepare for a focused Lobby Day conversation with our Members of Congress. This work will be fueled by music, art, worship, education and social activities.
This conference is part of my ongoing education sponsored by the Congregation. It is my hope that these fews days will become years of working for social justice. Learn more about Ecumenical Advocacy Days or the 2019 conference.