Uncertain times call for seeking justice

Uncertain times call for seeking justice


I really enjoy reading Facebook posts the week of Thanksgiving. One by one, people I know write about what they are thankful for. It is uplifting to see how each person, even those who have had many difficulties in their lives, find much to be thankful for.
One thing I didn’t see on anyone’s gratitude list was the uncertainty of the times we’re living in.  As human beings, most of us hate the anxiety of not knowing what will happen. So it’s hard for any of us to be thankful for the political climate in our country and even in our United Methodist denomination right now. We seem to be in uncharted territory, and it is not a comfortable place to be.
How should we, as individuals and as congregations, respond to uncertain times? The answer from the prophet Micah was to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” That seems to be the expectation in good times and in bad. No matter what is going on in the world around us, we should always be looking for opportunities for acts of mercy and of justice.
Acts of mercy and compassion are the least controversial. Very few people object to raising money to feed the hungry or house the homeless. Advocating for justice is more controversial, but equally important. Surely we would rather find a just solution to hunger than keep feeding the same people from the food pantry month after month?

Gayle Woods of Boise, Idaho participates in a
demonstration at 2016 General Conference.
(a UMNS photo)

We lay people are the ones who carry out most of these actions in our congregations. There are some exciting things going on all over the conference, things that others may want to try for themselves. What is your congregation doing to make your neighborhood, town, or world a better place? Share by email with me (JanNelson515@msn.com) or with Emilie Kroen, associate lay leader (EKroen@yahoo.com). Or share on our Facebook page, “United Methodist OR-ID Laity”.
We are doing great work in many places; maybe we can multiply that. Using communication technology and social media, we can share and expand our witness to God’s love. Let’s spread the love around!



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Jan Nelson

Jan Nelson is the Lay Leader of the Oregon-Idaho Conference. She was a delegate to the 2016 and 2019 General Conferences and 2016 Western Jurisdictional Conference. Jan is on the Ministry Leadership Team, Jurisdictional and Conference Committees on Episcopacy, and the Holy Land Task Force. She is also Chapter president of the Oregon-Idaho Methodist Federation for Social Action. She lives in Salem, Oregon.

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