Saturday, February 03, 2007

We Believe Conference--more to come

I received an e-mail from Heather, who does the web site at We Believe, that there will be minutes forthcoming, so those of us who couldn't attend the retreat, or who, like me, had to leave early, can be kept in the loop. In the meantime, I wanted to post a link to the keynote address Rev. Tim Ahrens gave in Washington D.C. at Faith in Public Life's Faith Leadership Meeting, which took place in December. He read the first part of it aloud to us at the meeting earlier this week, and it was the first time I'd heard it...
The day after the midterm elections, Katie Barge and I talked by phone. With her encouragement, I sat down and wrote these words:

This morning the sun rose once again over beautiful Ohio. It was, perhaps, one of the most beautiful sunrises I have seen here.

Yesterday, rain fell and a steady wind swept through our land. The rain brought cleansing. The wind brought change to our state. The change came in political offices. But, much more so, the wind blew through the hearts and minds of people who courageously stepped forward to vote their values. People stepped in the polls in 88 counties and said, "We believe the working poor deserve a hand up. We believe gambling is no way to pay for our children̢۪s education. We believe that smoke free air and a healthy environment is better for us than smoke-filled rooms." People said, "We believe in standing up for justice and against elected officials who 'stay the course' even when no one can tell what the course is and where we are going."

Today, I am proud to be a Christian leader in Ohio. I am proud of those in all faith traditions with whom I stand to make a brighter and more beautiful future. We love God with our whole hearts, minds, and souls. We love our neighbors as ourselves. We are multi-cultural and multiracial. We are bridge builders. We love humanity and don't seek to demonize others. We are faithful and moral to the core of our souls. But we will not impose our faith and morality on others.

We are uniting people everywhere and we are united in this effort. We are and will continue to be ones who seek to heal the world. We will not be silent. We will listen to the voice of God guiding us forward in faith and action.

Today, I stand in the sunshine of this state beaming with delight. I stand among all Ohioans who braved the wind and the rain yesterday to make a change. I am humbled to be counted among those, who on a rainy, windswept day lifted their heads, walked into the prevailing winds stood courageously and voted for a change - determined to show God and one another that wind itself could change.

On November 7th, The people of Ohio demonstrated the audacity to hope! Ohioans heard the cries of the poor and answered. Ohioans spoke out against corruption and greed. Ohioans stood up from the midst of the mud-slinging in this campaign season and declared, "We see what we need to do . . . and we will do it!" Today, in the sunshine of God's love, we step forward. That is what I see today as I soak in the sunlight. We believe in God. We believe in Ohio.
Click here for the rest.

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