I jump into Twitter about every two years…. For General Synod. Since Synod is totally virtual this year, it’s easy to just open up Twitter in an additional tab on my computer and I can simply toggle through various pages on my web browser: the delegates web page, UCC Facebook, Montana-Northern Wyoming Delegates Facebook Group, and Twitter.
Although Twitter doesn’t capture Synod in its entirety, it’s a fun place to get a bunch of the pieces of the puzzle and put things together. Sure there will be huge pieces missing but Tweets are a start (and they’re quick and easy to read).
So far, two presentations at Synod have stood out: The nomination speech given by the Rev. Traci Blackmon on Sunday and the Keynote address given by Valerie Kaur on Monday. Rev. Blackmon has been nominated to a second term as Associate General Minister of the UCC. Valerie Kaur is social justice activist and member of the Sikh community. You can read about their presentations through United Church News: https://www.ucc.org/traci-blackmon-embrace-the-power-of-the-we-in-the-ucc/ and https://www.ucc.org/keynoter-valarie-kaur-challenges-ucc-to-chart-a-revolutionary-love/. I’m looking for the actual videos but can’t put my fingers on them yet. When I do, I’ll let you know. They are both well worth watching.
In the meantime, here’s some tweets to get you started:
From Rev. Blackmon’s speech:
“Everything the United Church of Christ has been able to accomplish is because of the we. Everything we will be able to accomplish is because of we.”
“Do we not understand that when we crush the spirit, the creativity, the heart of any of God’s people, we desecrate ourselves?”
“We don’t enter anywhere to prescribe the work of God in a place. We open ourselves up to meet God there, and to experience what God is already doing in that place.”
“It is the question I ask myself whenever and wherever I enter. What is God up to in this place?”
“We are not done. We are not well. We have not arrived.”
From Valerie Kaur’s Keynote address:
“Deep solidarity is rooted in love. I choose to show up for you. I let your grief become my grief.”
“Revolutionary love is the call of our time.”
“I chose to love you, to see you as a part of me I do not yet know.”
“Your breathlessness is not a sign of your weakness, it’s a sign of your bravery.”
(referring to this era: “It is so dark. Is this the dark of the tomb? Or the dark of the womb?”
“When we choose to see our opponents not as monstrous but as wounded human beings it releases their power over us. We reclaim our capacity to wonder about the cultural norms that radicalized them …the institutions that authorized them.”
“…our scriptures tell us that love is more than a rush of emotion, love is a sweet labor, fierce, bloody, imperfect, life giving, a choice that we make again & again”
“Wonder is the act that returns us to love.”
“Revolutionary love is the choice to labor for our opponents, our allies, and ourselves. Love can be taught, and love can be practiced.”
“When did you first hear to call to love without limit?”
“You are a part of me I do not yet know.”
That’s all for now. Know that almost 1,000 people are being inspired by these words and all the words in between this week as the United Church of Christ meets as General Synod 33. I am grateful to be one of them.