Last Sunday morning after preaching in Wilmette, on Budget Sabbath in Illinois, I was asked, “How do you keep at it? There are so many problems, they just seem to get worse, and it looks like nobody can make things better.”
My response? “Despair is not an option.” Every day we have the rare opportunity to do to what is most important in life: loving your neighbor and thereby seeking The Beloved Community. What could be more exhilarating than knowing that what we are trying to do counts for something more than ourselves?
The joy is self-replenishing.
I also pointed to two successes in the last year. We helped to pass legislation curbing the abuses of the payday loan industry in Illinois. We also supported the Safe Child Act, which takes juvenile prostitution our of the criminal justice system and provides services for the young victims of the sex trade.
It is because of what we together can accomplish—and what gives us reason to try—that we ask you now to join the new PCG Statewide Advocacy Network.
PCG provides the opportunity for people of faith to act on our vision of the common good: “An inclusive community united through God’s love in which all flourish and to which each contributes.”
One might ask, “Isn’t this what our churches ought to be doing?” Of course. In fact, I believe that PCG is a church. We are geographically disbursed, but committed to one world in which all can flourish as God intends—individuals and all of creation. We are taking action in the public arena toward that end. What better church could we ever join?
But this view of the church is not easy to put into practice. Policy issues are complicated. We must always encourage debate and new ideas. Effective advocacy is hard work. That’s why a network, with PCG staff support, is essential.
PCG has already engaged many clergy and lay leaders. But we must become genuinely statewide, improve our capacity to stay in ongoing communication, and be prepared to act promptly when the need is clear. Our goal must be to transform collective love into organized power.
A minister named Walter Taylor once wrote: “Politics determines the kind of world you will be born in, the kind of education and job you will eventually get, how you will spend your old age and even how you will die. The church must address itself to, and be involved in, anything that affects life as greatly as this.”
According to author Edna Ferber, “Some people make the world, the rest just come along and live in it.” It is clear to which group the Gospel calls us. Please join the Advocacy Network now.