I grew up in a pretty conservative Baptist church and gained many important values there – primarily learning that Christianity is about loving others as yourself. My experience at RBC has reinforced this but has added another focus, one that was NOT a point of emphasis in my home church – the focus of standing with the marginalized in their fight against injustice. This was the focus of Jesus, and this is a focus at RBC as we ask, “Where is injustice, and what can we do about it?”
In this last year, RBC’s Holy Land Peace through Justice Group has often talked about how we might help others understand why we are so passionate about Palestine. It has become clear that our passion comes from what we have seen and heard about Palestine, but also from our desire to help resist injustice in the world – not just in Palestine, but wherever we see it. RBC, for example, is ALSO passionate about injustice toward our immigrant community, Southern Sudan, Annandale, Cuba, Farmworkers, Puerto Rico and more.
For this reason, the Holy Land Group has decided to lead out at RBC in highlighting our congregation’s concerns about injustice – wherever it exists. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We have decided to plan programs to show the intersection of our church’s concerns about injustice — specifically injustice suffered by some of the following communities: yes, Palestine, but also the communities of African Americans, Native Americans, women, the LGBTQ persons, and more.
As Kay has expressed, I believe our church has found its focused direction, following the teachings of Jesus – JUSTICE FOR THE OPPRESSED. There are many special interest groups in our congregation, all doing good work for the cause of justice. Justice has percolated to the surface as an important focus of our church.
Our Holy Land Peace through Justice Group will continue to focus on advocacy for Palestinians as they are oppressed by the Israeli government. At the same time, there is much similarity in how groups in the USA are treated and not understood. The Holy Land Group has concluded they want to offer the discussion of intersectionality of the Palestinians, people of color, LGBTQ, refugees, and migrant workers, indigenous people, and more. We would like to offer opportunities over the next year at luncheon meetings and movies to address some groups that are oppressed or marginalized. There are so many similarities while there are still differences as to how marginalized groups in our society are treated. This is intersectionality.
So, in moving forward to better understand the oppressed and marginalized groups right in front of us, we decided to have our first session focus on the transgender community.
The Holy Land Group and the Deacon Commission are co-sponsoring this session after church on Feb. 10, with a “grab and go” lunch and presentation. Cathy Baskin and Christy Moyer have found a speaker, and the Holy Land Group will provide the lunch.
All are welcome; we encourage you to attend.