What a first week as the Organizer at More Light Presbyterians. Over the weekend I joined 900 others from across the country at Montreat. The occasion, MLK’s Unfinished Agenda, was a commemoration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s presence at Montreat 50 years ago. The weekend’s speakers included phenomenal organizers, writers, and advocates for racial equity that took an amazing look at the intersection of other forms of oppression. It was not uncommon to hear a speaker talk about economic injustice, the recent Supreme Court wins for the freedom to marry, and the Affordable Care Act, and also a call to reflect on nonviolence as a result country’s dedication to violent foreign policy.
I was compelled by the words of Charles Blow, Jr. – an op-ed columnist for the New York Times and known for writing columns addressing race and injustice. He pushed the aging crowd gathering in Anderson Auditorium to think openly about the new generation of leaders emerging in our progressive movements – “It is crucial for leaders of the past to pass on wisdom & strength but also power to shape the new movement.” He challenged the too often cry that young people are just causing trouble for the sake of causing trouble – “Misdirected rage is not the same as illegitimate rage.” He connected the movement of the past to the movements happening today – “King’s movement represented a dream. This new movement is an awakening. You can’t talk to someone born 20 yrs ago, protesting a death 1 yr ago about what you did 50 years and think that is sufficient.” These words made it clear that the work moving forward is not just related to increasing the number of More Light congregations, but also about increasing the impact our congregations have in our local communities.
I am excited to be joining the More Light team as an Organizer. I am a cradle United Methodist and we like to brag that we are a connectional church. As I begin working with y’all, I am excited to bring that value with me. I look forward to connecting More Light congregations and dreaming of ways that together we can make a larger impact in our communities and broadening the work of inclusion to also become the work of liberation. I look forward to meeting many of you in just a few weeks at the National Conference. Please feel free to reach out to me (email@example.com) before the conference if you would like to sit down for a cup of coffee and a quick conversation. If you have not done so already, please click here to register for the conference.