Leading from the Margins
God of many names…
We the people increasingly find ourselves divided… but this is nothing new for you. You have watched your creation divide itself over arbitrary us and them again and again.
You have sent us prophets and leaders to remind your warring children: We need not think alike to love alike.
Rekindle in us a common language of love, respect, justice, peace, and hope. May we rise to the challenge of acknowledging and supporting our different ways of expressing our faith, and as we do, may we find ourselves united in that work of lifting each other up.
May we take seriously your call to champion the needs and interests of the most vulnerable and oppressed. Our constitution is our guiding document, our lodestar to live out the simple but difficult value that all are created equal, and treated equally under that law.
As our country takes a collective breathe with an eye on this Constitution, May we remember the words of former congress woman Barbara Jordan who challenged us some 45 years ago to have a faith in the values of the Constitution that are whole; complete; and total. She called us to not sit back and be idle spectators to the subversion and the destruction, of this sacred document.
May we lead our country, our state, our communities, our schools, our places of worship from the margins.
When we lead from the margins, we make policy decisions that lift up those who have been shut out from being fully included in “we the people.”
When we lead from the margins, we listen to the voices who are being harmed and we amplify their voices.
When we lead from the margins we give more weight to the testimony of those affected by bullets than to the weight of contributions from the NRA.
When we lead from the margins, we view the world from the eyes of refugees at the border, children in cages, and people without documents, hiding in the shadows.
When we lead from the margins, we create safe space for transgender children and trans women of color who are closest to harm.
When we lead from the margins, coming out isn’t just a one-day experience for LGBTQ people, but a call to all of us to live against the tide of cisheteronormativity each and every day.
When we lead from the margins, fighting for reproductive justice, equal pay, and against sexual assault isn’t just women’s work.
When we lead from the margins, we make sure that people who have the least resources have first access to affordable housing and mental health services.
When we lead from the margins we provide a living wage, not less regulation for predatory lenders.
When we lead from the margins, those of us with privilege take action alongside the oppressed, doing the work to dismantle racism and white supremacy, which still plague our policies and systems.
When we lead from the margins we show up on the front lines every time islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and bigotry comes crawling out of its hole.
When we lead from the margins we don’t lead to win the next election or get hired at a bigger church, but to place ourselves in solidarity with those who suffer so that we the people may be true, and all may be lifted up.
May we around this room, lead from the margins, living out your vision, as we become co-creators with you building Beloved Community, imagined by Dr. King.
For we proclaim today that we will no longer allow our faith to be hijacked to exempt justice, but allow it to be the very foundation from which liberation and justice for all is realized.