Submitted by Capital Area region; written by Mary Wurl of First Christian Church, Falls Church, VA
“Organize, organize, organize!” This is the mantra we hear from social justice leaders past and present. But the Justice League of First Christian Church, Falls Church, Virginia was having trouble organizing. We’d been around for a while, had participated in the Women’s Marches and March for Our Lives, and we’d put our support behind the church’s successful Open and Affirming process. But we were a group of 30 or so Disciples, committed to working for justice but not knowing where to start.
We sent out a plea to Rev. Ken Brooker Langston of the Disciples Justice Action Network (DJAN) for help. We wanted to organize, we told him. What do we do? He had just the solution. He sent us Rev. Dr. Rosetta Robinson.
She met with 20 of us in our church’s parlor on the afternoon of May 20. She found a group of people who have many different passions, but wanted to find a way to work effectively for justice. After focusing us on our mission through a scriptural meditation, Rev. Robinson started to talk to us about the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Of course we’d heard about it, but didn’t know a lot about it.
Rev. Robinson was able to articulate how the PPC could help us all find connections to those issues that we care about: poverty, homelessness, the environment, gun violence, education, health care… We talked about the metaphor of an umbrella that covers all these issues and still allows us to work in solidarity. Of course, this is what Rev. William Barber & Rev. Liz Theoharis, national co-chairs of the campaign, continues to teach us – we need to work with each other, not against each other.
Our first step after the May 20 meeting was to host watch parties for the next four weekly PPC kick-off rallies. We offered a homemade spaghetti dinner, and hosted about 12 people each week. We met and enjoyed the company of five new folks who found us through the Virginia Action Network.
On June 23, 13 from our group attended the rally and march on the Mall. It is thrilling to be a part of this powerful movement. But as Revs. Barber and Theoharis continue to remind us, this may be the end of the six-week kick-off, but is the beginning of a long struggle for the soul of our nation. We look forward to continuing our connection with the PPC as they release their agenda for the future.
We are so blessed to have resources like the DJAN and Revs. Brooker Langston and Robinson. They helped us find a way to organize ourselves and will continue to be a resource for us. We’re blessed with the presence of our own newly installed minister, Rev. Steve Moore, whose passion for justice is just what our Justice League needs to help us work effectively for change. There’s a lot of work to be done, and we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get started.