Rev. Mark Ward: The Work of Liberation
What a serendipitous moment for us to have LIBERATION as the theme for worship and small group ministry this month! Liberation, after all, is one of the hopes that are central to the religious life – personal liberation from worries, troubles and fear, but also giving oneself to the larger work of liberating all people from oppression.
Liberation is central to the narrative of just about every religious tradition I can think of. And that’s not surprising, since at the core of every religion is a path to freedom and wholeness for the believer and eventually all things. It’s true of us as well. Our seven principles offer practices, disciplines, ways of thinking that we believe will help us and all people fulfill our promise as human beings and find right relationship with the Earth.
This March with the upcoming primary elections we focus especially on our fifth principle, which calls us to “affirm and promote the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” We are reminded that elections can be a vehicle of liberation, and indeed we are in need of some liberation this year: liberation from fear and oppression that are written into so many of our state and national laws, often by people elected by narrow constituencies that seek to control the political process.
That’s why we as a congregation right now are giving so much time and energy to the electoral process, to ensuring that as many people as possible are informed about the candidates and issues and are able to get to the polls to vote. Central to the commitment to the democratic process is the belief that we are best served when our leaders are chosen by as broad and representative an electorate as possible. It’s a consequence of our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
So, please make sure to get yourself to the polls – early voting starts today – and consider joining others of us in the congregation in the current campaign by Democracy NC and the NAACP to help get people often marginalized in the electoral process to the polls. Let us all be part of the work of liberation.