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Holding Each Other Up

I am the pastor of a church that has a lot of people involved in each Sunday morning service. We have a Bible reader, a liturgist, a music leader, an elder, a deacon, and a congregational prayer pray-er each and every single Sunday.

It’s quite the cacophony of voices behind the pulpit each week.

It’s quite the team. It’s quite the cacophony of voices behind the pulpit each week, and I love it. Each Sunday morning before the service we meet to make sure everyone is present and ready. And they always are. Because it’s a good team.

A couple of years ago, sort of as a joke, as we were leaving our preservice meeting and heading into the sanctuary, I cheered: “Goooooo, team!” and raised my hands into the air, and everyone laughed.

I cheered: “Goooooo, team!” and raised my hands into the air, and everyone laughed.

So, of course, I’ve kept doing it. The laugh isn’t as big anymore. But my gratitude just keeps getting bigger. Because I don’t lead anything alone. I’m part of a team. And what a team it is!

I felt like cheering “Goooooo, team!” the evening of Thursday, November 8 after listening to four amazing Christian women, of various ages and backgrounds, talk about the work that they had been doing to seek justice.

This evening panel event, called “Just Women,” was organized by the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations. And it was inspiring. You can read more from CRC News about the event and its participants here. And you too can get excited about the team.

It was inspiring.

These women have been working in and out of the CRC, for churches and in government, in Canada and around the world, hoping, dreaming, and working for a more just society. I hope you read about them and get excited about the team, because I think the team is rather amazing.

I needed that event. Sure, it wasn’t huge, and, to be honest, everyone in that room was already a team member. Each chair was filled with a person who supported the work of the Centre for Public Dialogue, which is why they were there. Every person had a vested interest in the women in that panel in some way. We were friends and committee members and colleagues and supporters of the work they have been doing. Many of those who had come to listen were elderly, and they had been supporting the work of the Centre, and the various agencies that the panel all worked for, for years and years.

We were friends and committee members and colleagues and supporters.

It might have been a “preaching to the choir” kind of event. But even the choir gets tired sometimes. Even the choir needs to be encouraged.

And I was so encouraged. I was inspired by the panel and by all the people sitting in those chairs. Because we aren’t alone. We’re never alone. And gosh justice-seeking is hard work. And it’s not getting easier. It’s getting harder in our countries, in our churches, in our neighbourhoods. I feel it is. It’s so easy to get cynical and frustrated and tired. It’s so easy to throw your hands up and walk away. From church, from help, from change, from hope. It’s so easy to give up. Sometimes I just can’t hack it anymore.

It’s so easy to get cynical and frustrated and tired.

But I’ve got a team. And they hold me up. They inspire me. And they keep going, despite the odds. They hang on to the successes they find and they keep reminding the world of the last, the least, and the lonely. They keep encouraging those in the margins that there is a team fighting for them. And that inspires me.

We are not alone. We’ve got such a great team. And I continue to cheer for them. Loudly.

[Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash]


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