When I was young, my mother tried very hard to instill in me a good Quaker principle that she called “the right knowledge at the right time”. She was trying to teach me patience, how to wait with grace and faith, and how to trust that eventually, when the time was right and my heart and brain were ready, things would come together. Her teaching didn’t work too well since I was an incredibly impatient child (and am, perhaps, only a slightly less impatient adult).
My family comes from Clan Farquharson and our clan motto is Fide et Fortitude or, in English, By Faith and Fortitude. Fortitude is one of those lovely words we don’t use nearly enough anymore. It’s the emotional strength we have in the face of adversity, and difficulty.
Perhaps now, in my 40s, I’m finally beginning to understand what my momma, and my family motto, have been trying to teach me all these years – that sometimes we move in little steps towards a goal that no one else can see and then, eventually, at the right time everything opens up, and the miracles come.
The Revolution has been like that. I’ve been trying to get a toe in the door, even someone to listen to the voice of survivors in the church, for what seems like forever. With lots of fits and starts, a great many setbacks, a lot of nights spent crying and screaming at the silence of good people, and an enormous quantity of coffee and tea we have finally arrived at this place, a place where The Revolution is gaining traction, finding its way into people’s hearts and minds.
Next Steps (And A Bit Of A Deadline)
I am delightfully overwhelmed.
Richard Bruxvoort Colligan has written a beautiful healing service for survivors, their families, and friends, that helps remind us of the great and healing love of G-d. And today, it’s Friday I believe, I received an email from Maren Tirabassi with some incredible pieces of liturgy for Break The Silence Sunday, a prayer of confession and new words to “I Love To Tell The Story”. And friend of The Revolution Jill Hileman has gathered together an amazing collection of resources to help people throughout Wisconsin find support on their journey of healing.
As pieces of liturgy and other resources come in I try to remember that all those little steps have led to this moment, to people joining their hearts, and minds, and creativity, and voices with mine to speak up and support survivors. And for this I give great thanks.
The next couple of weeks will be a flurry of Revolution activities.
A press release type e-mail will go out in the next week or so, inviting U.C.C. congregations in Wisconsin to mark their calendars for April 24, 2016 and begin their preparations to participate in Break The Silence Sunday. If you’re not in Wisconsin, or not U.C.C., but you’d like to participate PLEASE let me know. Comment on this post, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that you can be included.
I’m also hoping to hear from more of you out there who are busy writing liturgy for us, or thinking up songs and hymns that we might suggest to congregations, or writing a sermon, or thinking up a liturgical dance, or designing a banner, or whatever creative, delightful things you’re doing. If you can get those things to me by December 20th, that would be most amazing. Yes, that’s very soon, and I understand if you can’t make that deadline. Don’t worry. Break The Silence Sunday will be an annual event, and we shall have continuing need for liturgical resources, so plan now to get things ready for the 2017 observance.
Finally, I’m hoping some of my survivor sisters and brothers might lend me a few words about why The Revolution is important to them. I can use your name, your initials, or make them anonymous as best suits your comfort level. I’m just hoping to have some voices other than my own about why churches need to participate, to speak up, to support survivors. Drop me a note at email@example.com if you have a few words to share.
Thanks to all of you for reading, for your thoughts and encouragement, and for all the ways you’re supporting The Revolution.
3 thoughts on “Patience, Next Steps & Quotes”
I’m not UCC nor from Wisconsin. I am a friend of Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, though. I am also planning a sermon series in January, 2016 called “Breaking the Silence.” It is a three-part series about domestic violence, suicide, and mental health. Blessings as you try to begin this movement.
I would love to see or hear about those services when they’re done, whatever you’d like to share.
Here is a link to the first of my Breaking the Silence sermons. http://fatpastor.me/2016/01/26/mental-illness-silent-no-more/