Rev. Sue Latourette is pastor of the Congregational Church of North Stonington, CT and a board member of Keeping North Stonington Affordable, Inc.; and Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT.
Scripture: Isaiah 62:1 (NRSV)
For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch.
Reflection: Let Us Not Keep Silent
Reading Isaiah during Advent helped me remember how inspiring his powerfully poetic words are. With news cycles continually telling of an America I don’t recognize any more, I’d begun to lose heart. Then I heard Isaiah vowing to “not keep silent.” Speaking to a people who had given up hope their homeland would ever be what they’d dreamed, Isaiah promised to never shut up about it. “Well,” I thought, “neither will I.”
I will continue to speak of what people do to treat all human beings as worthwhile: congregations that offer sanctuary to immigrants facing deportation; lawyers helping them through the maze of paperwork to gain visas and green cards; ordinary people who take time from their lives to travel to our borders in support of asylum seekers.
I will continue to tell of groups who travel to different parts of the U.S. to help with disaster relief; who stand beside First Nations when their lands are being threatened; who stand in front of bulldozers and clear-cutters and oil-drillers in defense of our environment’s health.
Then I will talk about the people doing simple things to make someone else’s life better: who selflessly think of others when at the grocery store who pick up what extra they can for food pantries; who make time to help build houses; who offer rides to neighbors who can’t drive; who write to their government officials; who pray for friends, neighbors and strangers alike.
I will do likewise, where and when I can. I will continue to encourage my congregation to think before they speak (as we hear enough trash-talk elsewhere); to offer true hospitality to friends - and strangers who would become friends; to be the church that people think to be a welcome place and holy ground for when they have a need.
I may not be the poet Isaiah was, but I believe that the Spirit gives each of us a voice, a heart, and a hand to make a difference for Jesus’ sake.
For Jesus’ sake, for the church’s sake, for our town’s sake, for our country’s sake, let us not keep silent.
O Holy One, inspire each of us to speak up for Your sake, and the sake of others. Amen.
New Prayer Requests:
We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Drew Page at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayers of Intercession:
- For Rev. Marj Davis, retried interim minister, who is preparing for surgery
- For those grieving or suffering due to the large storm sweeping across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states
- Those grieving in China's Shaanxi Province where 21 miners were killed Saturday when a mine collapsed.
Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:
- For those who use their privilege to fight for marginalized people
- For longer days
Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:
First Church of Christ Congregational 1652
Buckingham Congregational UCC
First Church of Christ Congregational, Glastonbury
Church of Christ Congregational
First Congregational Church of Granby, UCC
This Week in History:
Jan. 15, 1919, (100 years ago) A 50-foot holding tank containing over 2 million gallons of molasses at the United States Industrial Alcohol site collapsed, resulting in a 15 foot wall of thick, hot syrup which swept through nearby buildings and streets of Boston. The "Great Molasses Flood" would eventually claim 21 lives and result in another 150 injured.