Flying the Flag: A Vision of Social Justice at Big Red

From Pastor Ara Guekguezian

It has been over one year that we at the Big Red Church began the process of considering who we are and where we need to be as a faithful congregation. It has been over six months that we’ve known that great change is coming and we needed to be a part of it. There are  the normal changes that time brings: retirement, new interim pastor, loss and change of support staff. Then there are the changes brought by new deeper, broader vision. As I was listening on the Day of Discovery, it seemed clear to me that the Social Justice Vision group would take off immediately. It is July and it is still in the organizing stage.

What happened? Nothing and a lot! We continue to fly the flag, both literally at the Pride Parade (change there, too: longer flag next June), and figuratively. Dozens of us at the Big Red Church are involved in groups and activities that are engaged in extending justice to more people in this valley and the world, just not via a new vision group. And that is more than ok. Active members of Big Red organize and lead two of the five Indivisible groups in our area, one nested at the Church; various groups working for a more just society for LGBTQ+ people are peopled with our folk; sanctuary issues of every type engage many of us; any City Council or County Commission meeting I attend is attended by my people.  The Interfaith Council—I don’t attend regularly—is regularly and faithfully attended by my sister who lets me know what we should be doing as a congregation to fulfill this part of our vision to make peace and establish justice; and there is much we do here on site that gives comfort, aid and encouragement for those who suffer because of social injustice.

All the stuff we are doing is because we have a long abiding commitment to working toward a more just society. Our efforts are broad in that we extend ourselves not only to progress but to minister to those harmed by social institutions in the meantime. One great area to illustrate: Hunger in the valley that produces food for the world, but not enough to those who live within its bounds—we engage our legislators locally and in Congress to better, we are active participants in the CROP walk, we support the Community Food Bank, Poverello House, and we have established a Pantry that offers fresh and non-perishables, and other household needs.

So, while we get our Social Justice Vision group going, the faithful work continues.

May God bless us with continue strength and vision to fulfill God’s will for our life together and for this world.

Peace,

Pastor Ara

Comments(2)

  1. Cheryl Dobson says

    Well said. Thank you for your leadership, your insights, your heart and your Faith. Finding the Big Red Church has helped me as a Christian, a human being and it has allowed me to be a part of something wonderful and inspiring. Thank you for your spirit and hard work. May God help us to continue to grow as Christians and serve one another and our Community. I am still praying that you can stay as our Pastor.

  2. Kim Williams says

    Cheryl, we are so thankful to have you in our congregation!

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