Love. Revere. Discover. Connect.

Letter from the Minister: April 1, 2024

Dear Friends,

Happy April – the fool’s day, the spring breaks, Easter leftovers, Eclipses and Passover.
Happy April showers, and garden planting with early sweet peas. I posted a poem for this
newsletter, The Low Road, by Marge Piercy – and it has inspired me a little. My feelings of
loneliness, and the loneliness reported in the Surgeon General’s Loneliness Report – and this
poem, my loneliness, the hopeful promise of springtime turning into summer sunshine urges
me to connect.
I know many of us feel like our setting is a place that is an unforgiving orthodoxy – where
racism, sexism, male supremacy, heteronormativity and white supremacy culture permeates
every space – like we are wringing wet in this oppressive sap.

I know that our seeming isolation is systemic. “3rd places” have been eradicated. There is a
term for the places that 1. aren’t Home and 2. aren’t Work – the 3rd place is the place you can
be, you can exist without having to buy something, without having to do something – you can
just be. The 3rd places are the places where revolutions begin, where deep connections are
forged. There is no conspiracy theory here with 3rd places – how does a place survive without
charging money to its patrons – they just don’t in our economies. But they did at one time,
and could again. Church is one of the last standing 3rd places. It is my hope for East Shore to
continue and to broaden the community, we offer place, space and sanctuary.

If we are to dismantle the unforgiving orthodoxy I mentioned earlier then we need to connect,
and breathe, and think . . . for Dismantling a system is done thought by thought . . . and heart
by heart. There is a Fr. Richard Rohr quote that has been rattling in my head for about two
weeks now:

“We don’t think ourselves into new ways of living.
We live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”

I hope we all can take The Low Road, and I hope we each can take a responsibility to care, to
act, to disrupt systems of oppression through loving our neighbors in ways that they need it. I
hope that as the April rains come they serve as a reminder of the worth and dignity of every
person – or as the 1961 principles read, the supreme worth of every human personality. ‘It
rains on the just and the unjust alike…’ it rains on all of us, on each of us – and let these rains
remind us of that supreme worth of each of us, of all of us.
Rev. Will

The Low Road, by Marge Piercy
What can they do to you? Whatever they want.
They can set you up, they can
bust you, they can break
your fingers, they can
burn your brain with electricity,
blur you with drugs till you
can’t walk, can’t remember, they can
take your child, wall up
your lover. They can do anything
you can’t stop them
from doing. How can you stop
them? Alone, you can fight,
you can refuse, you can
take what revenge you can
but they roll over you.
But two people fighting
back to back can cut through
a mob, a snake-dancing file
can break a cordon, an army
can meet an army.
Two people can keep each other
sane, can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex.
Three people are a delegation,
a committee, a wedge. With four
you can play bridge and start
an organization. With six
you can rent a whole house,
eat pie for dinner with no
seconds, and hold a fund raising party.
A dozen make a demonstration.
A hundred fill a hall.

A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;
ten thousand, power and your own paper;
a hundred thousand, your own media;
ten million, your own country.
It goes on one at a time,
it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again and they said no,
it starts when you say We
and know who you mean,
and each day you mean one more.