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Statement on Washington D.C. Chaos

January 6, 2021

My dear friends,

Many of us watched in disbelief today as attendees at a presidential rally walked to the U. S.
Capitol and acted with violence and destruction to disrupt the day’s proceedings. Scenes that we
had only seen on the news in other countries unfolded before our eyes in our own capital city.
The peaceful transfer of power that we have been privileged to take for granted became, for this
election, only a thing of our past. What has been happening has looked less and less like the
democracy which we have enjoyed and been so proud of.

Our souls are disturbed tonight, our hearts are broken by the fading of our image of our country
as a peaceful nation and a beacon of light to the world. We face an unsettled future and wonder
how much farther we might deteriorate.

In times like these, it’s not easy to go straight to faith and hope and joy, and I invite you to not
try to force yourself to be full of cheer in this moment. Take this time to feel what you feel and to
reflect upon the value of what we have lost, what we are in danger of losing.
And then be assured that we might grieve, but we do not lose hope. We might rage, but we do
not lose hope. We might regret action or lack of action, but we do not lose hope. Our hope
remains, because our faith remains, and most importantly of all, God remains.

We have faith in all who still value integrity and truth and justice and democracy. It is not up to
the Democrats, and it is not up to the Republicans to forge a better future. The brightness of our
future will be in the hands and voices of those of any and all political affiliations who speak truth
with justice, those who stand unflinchingly in the face of corruption and coercion, those who can
confront their fears and doubts and act for the good beyond themselves.

We have faith in the people of faith to keep God alone as the Center and Guide of our life and to
affirm the value of those things that actually make goodness and greatness; intangibles like
integrity, honesty, kindness, courage, loyalty, self-sacrifice. As Christians, we continue to strive
to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with [our] God (Micah 6:8) out of love not only
for ourselves, but for all of God’s children.

We have faith in God to lead us in lives of faithfulness and righteousness, rejecting the forces of
wickedness in order to pray and work for peace, for justice, for love. God sees all and knows all,
and still looks upon us, imperfect as we are, with mercy and blesses us with love.
The time of our comfort, our complacency, might be over. There is a lot of work to do for the
church, for Christians, for people of faith. There is a lot of work ahead to remind the world
through the simple and unshakable faithfulness of our lives that love is more powerful than hate
or corruption or anarchy.

This is the life to which we have been called. Each day we are called to lives of love, to works of
justice, to be every day God’s people of light. Be at peace, my friends. We travel together. We
learn together. We live and love together.
And with God, this love changes the world.

In the peace and love of Christ,

Rev. Michelle Park
Pastor
San Luis Rey Valley United Methodist Church

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