For those who were not at worship the Sunday I announced this, our first project for the Rural Church Initiative (RCI) will be to host a Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop May 23, 2020. If you are not familiar with Better Angels, it is an organization that started right after the last presidential election in South Lebanon, Ohio. By bringing together folks from both sides of the aisle to learn to listen and understand one another better, the organization is hoping to reduce the extreme polarization we are experiencing in America. They take their name from Abraham Lincoln’s speech on the eve of the Civil War where he appealed to “the better angels of our nature.”
Some of you might be thinking, “Isn’t that political? Politics has no place in church.” Politics at its heart is about the exercise of power, and from the prophets through Jesus, God has a lot to say about power and how it gets used. The thinking behind the Rural Church Initiative is that churches need to be more involved in their communities and being a part of addressing community needs. The Klamath basin is not lacking in problems we could be joining our neighbors to address, but realistically we have limited people resources as a congregation. This is a one-day event that brings together 7 red voters and 7 blue voters with 2 trained moderators. They spend the day together using a very set format that is designed to encourage listening and understanding. There is ample scriptural support for learning to live this way!
You can help with this project! The opportunities run the gamut from being a participant to helping provide food for the participants. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are willing to help in any way with this project. I would also urge you to visit the Better Angels website ( https://www.better-angels.org/) and learn more about their purpose and work. They seek to bring healing, peace and understanding to our fractured world. Sounds like a cause we Christians can get behind.