People of Justice and Liberation,
Juneteenth, Pride, Fourth of July. Celebrations of freedom three weeks in a row.
On August 3, 1857, Frederick Douglass delivered the “West India Emancipation” speech, which gave us the quote:
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to, and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
Many of you know that I went to the Northern California Nevada Conference Annual meeting last weekend. I connected with old friends and made some new ones. When I spoke of serving Island United, eyes lit up and fond well-wishes were extended. The main theme of the conference was REI-J: racial equity inclusion justice. I thought to myself, “Boom! Already there and working on it.” And we still have work to do. The important thing is that we are part of the larger whole that seeks and celebrates the freedom of all peoples. In the Juneteenth Celebration acknowledgment Alexis delivered last Saturday on behalf of Island United, we quoted Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”
No truer words have been spoken. And the truth is that nobody is free. The continued oppression can be traced to our religious heritage. Let’s continue to work toward our emancipation from those chains that bind rather than free.
Please join us this Pride Sunday as I reflect upon Paul’s letter to the Galatians and his complicated journey of liberation.
Fly your freedom flag,
Rev. Michael Cronin