I serve a tiny church. It was once a center of activity for a German immigrant community. Later, it was a neighborhood center.
Now it is a small band of committed people.
There is diversity in these people. We have people whose ancestors come from Africa, Europe, East Asia, and also the Caribbean and Central America – which have a diversity all their own. We have mostly older members, but some young as well. We have gay and straight members, cisgender and transgender members. We have members with economic security, and members who are homeless.
All of these members bring something to the church.
All of these members stand up for each other.
And while this is very important in a church with a small membership, it’s also important in the wider world.
Too often, our identities and affiliations are shared by a small fraction of society. We may not be heard, or we may be ignored, because our numbers are too small to be recognized.
Too often, our identities and affiliations have too little power and prestige. Our concerns may be discounted because we have too little influence on those with power.
And so we must work together to be seen, to be heard, to make a difference for each other.
My light must shine for Black Lives Matter, for immigrants, for refugees, for people of other faiths, for the poor, for the homeless, for the sick, for the uninsured, for those with disabilities, and for many others. It may seem like to much space for my little light to illumine – but I am not alone.
If we all shine our lights together, we light the way for each other. Our individual warmth collectively keeps us all warm. And together, our light is too bright to be avoided, denied, or ignored.
Shine brightly. Shine together.
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