This week's author is Isaac Monts, Associate for Justice and Leadership for the Connecticut Conference, UCC.
Scripture: Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Reflection:What news will we wake up to today? Possibly another unarmed Black male shot by a police officer, or maybe a group of white men marching with Nazi and Confederate Flags chanting “YOU WILL NOT REPLACE US!” Maybe we will wake up to news of our President, our Commander and Chief, playing a casual game of “toss the paper towel to the nearest hurricane victim.” Yes, this is real life...
Proverbs 31:8-9 says that we must SPEAK UP and DEFEND those who cannot speak for themselves. Maybe they have been silenced by a narrative that is so commonly played out in the media, or maybe they were told to “be grateful” that they are alive. Possibly their story was denounced by ignorant people telling them to get over their feelings since slavery was over years ago, or maybe they don’t have the courage to speak up for themselves. No matter the circumstance, as the body of Christ, YOU are called to speak up and speak out against the injustices that marginalized communities face today. It may cost you your reputation amongst your all-white congregation, or even worse your job. The question is, does it matter enough to you? Does justice matter enough to you? Does love matter enough to you? Does equity matter enough to you? Does the word of God matter enough to you?
Prayer:Lord, help us to BE THE CHURCH. Help us to put our own personal gains aside for the betterment of your world. Help us to focus on what really matters. Give us the strength and courage to speak up and defend, and give us the thoughtfulness to think of others before ourselves. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Special Prayer Requests:
- A prayer of joy for the opportunity to worship together this weekend at the 3rd CTUCC Revival.
- Those grieving or suffering after a shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, which left more than 50 dead and over 400 wounded on Oct. 2'
- the people of Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria caused massive devastation on Sept. 20;
- those grieving or suffering after a shooting at a church in Nashville, which left 1 student dead and 7 wounded on Sept. 24.
- those grieving for the 24 children and teachers killed in a fire in Malaysia on Sept. 14;
- those grieving or suffering after a shooting at a school in Rockford, Washington, which left 1 student dead and 3 wounded on Sept. 13;
- those suffering in London after a crude bomb detonated in the subway on Sept. 15;
- those grieving or suffering in the Caribbean and Florida after the effects of Hurricane Irma, which caused massive destruction of property last week and over the week end (September);
- the people of Mexico, where an 8.2 magnitude earthquake killed over 90 people and leveled many parts of Mexico on Sept. 7;
- the thousands of child immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as their future becomes unclear after the President's announcement that the program will end in the near future;
- Mark Engstrom, member of the CT Conference Board of Directors, and his wife Nina, who are facing health issues;
- the community of Conway, MA, and the United Congregational Church, UCC, Conway after a tornado touched down on Feb. 25 causing significant structural damage;
- the people of South Sudan where nearly 1 million people are facing famine;
- the members and staff of Thompson Congregational Church after a fire severely damage the building on Dec. 29;
- Michael White, former Operations Manager at Silver Lake Conference Center, who was diagnosed with colon cancer;
- Juliane Silver, the daughter of the Rev. Jim Silver of Middletown, who is in dire need of a liver transplant. We pray that a donor will come forward giving the gift of life and a portion of their liver to Juliane;
- Chacy Eveland, husband of the Rev. Marcia Eveland, pastor of the First Congregational Church UCC of Ansonia, who has been moved to a full-time facility for care of dementia;
- the thousands of migrants worldwide who flee from violence and persecution in search of safety;
- our ecumenical partners in the Kyung-Ki Presbytery in South Korea;
- the Conference's partners working for peace in Colombia amidst violence;
- the leaders of this nation, that they may meet the challenges of the day with insight, wisdom, and compassion;
- this nation, that it may continue its difficult work to end the practices of racism; and
- those serving or living in war or conflict zones around the world, or where terrorists have struck.
Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:
United Congregational Church Torrington
Rhonda Myers - P
Trumbull Congregational Church
Timothy Hare – P
Tara Brophy – CE
Ilana Ofgang - MM
Unity Hill UCC
M. Todd Shipley - P
Congregational Church of Union UCC
Timothy Gilbert - P
First Church of Christ, UCC
Sandra L. Olsen - P
Isaac Monts is responsible for all youth racial justice work and as well as support and development of the ministries programs and initiatives. A native of Hartford, Isaac Monts is the Director of the Joseph D. Clemmons Job Training Program, a paid...