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Have You Heard? Growing Movements of Loving Resistance from Moments of Hateful Violence

Join the Movement toward Racial Justice Curator, UCC National Setting

As many of you have heard, our NCNC kin at Loomis Basin UCC have been the targets of a horrific campaign of hate because of their support and love for LGBTQ+ youth. Our hearts are broken to know that Pastor Casey Martinez-Tinnin has been specifically targeted by a deliberate misinformation campaign and both he and the church have been threatened with violence.  What’s more, the life-saving space that was being created to nurture the flourishing of these amazing queer youth has become a target of fearmongering hostility. People of good will from all over the Conference have reached out to learn how they can help, and we yearn for some way of turning our heartache, anger, and conviction into action, without burdening the already-hurting and capacity-stretched community.

One of the lessons our Christian tradition teaches us is that moments of crisis, struggle and disruption can serve to catalyze movements.  On Good Friday and Easter, we remember how a moment of life-ending violence became an uprising of disciples who refused to let death have the last word, continually inviting others to become part of the story of resurrection.  On Pentecost, we celebrate the way that one moment of spiritual outpouring became a movement of fierce, expansive love and compassionate, prophetic resistance that would continue for centuries.  So how might the Spirit be calling to us in this moment of violence toward one of our sibling communities to grow a movement?

Movement elder Grace Lee Boggs reminds us that every effective movement requires lots of different strategies and multiple entry points so that lots of different people can become involved and invested.  These strategies include the local and immediate, as well as the long-term and systemic.  This moment calls for no less from us, if we are to grow a movement of loving resistance to the hateful violence being aimed at so many of our marginalized communities.  So here are some ways you and your communities might turn your empathy into action and grow the justice-doing, kindness-loving, humble-walking Jesus movement:

  1. Offer direct support to the most impacted communities in the ways they have asked.
  • Lift prayers for Loomis Basin United Church of Christ and their Pastors Casey Martinez-Tinnin.
  • Join their letter writing campaign raising voices of support to the Town Council and School Board
  • Share their Press Release on your own social media to get truth out about what is really happening
  • Help them fight back against hate by to cover security, safety, and legal costs and share with others on your social media to help raise funds among your network.
  1. Build your own capacities and just-practices for the long-term struggle.
  1. Connect to organizations already engaged in the work and deepen your practice of solidarity.

This particular moment offers us unique opportunities to cultivate intersectional movements with healing and repair at the center, as we build on the revolutionary work of our freedom-making ancestors and align with the movement of the Spirit toward justice.  How will you follow the call of this moment to build a movement?

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