SPECIAL GUEST EDITION written by Ryan Snow
So much of spiritual practice is focused on knowing and connecting with a universal, unconditional, all-encompassing Love — and on fostering loving relationships in our lives and communities that bring us closer to this universal Love. While much of our limited time on this earth revolves around sustenance and maintenance, engaging in spiritual practice suggests a fundamental belief that life is beautiful, progress is possible, and a loving, peaceful, sustainable world can be created.
The radical version of this practice necessarily means working actively to disrupt and defeat injustice and liberate the world on a personal, interpersonal, and systemic level. Each of us individually living a spiritual, loving existence itself goes a long way to creating a loving world. But achieving true liberation for all people — freedom from the oppression of racial, economic, and social injustice — means together engaging actively in the power structures of our world, in order to change them.
We at Wesley Memorial UMC are already doing this every day in providing sanctuary to Maria Chavalan Sut, whose presence in our church is both a result of injustice and a communal act of loving resistance. We love you, Maria, and we will fight for your right to live freely and in peace! In the face of such injustice, we have no choice — we must act, guided by love. This means taking concrete steps such as establishing a physical sanctuary in our church, as well as establishing and reinforcing avenues of resistance and solidarity in our community at large.
It also means that when our governing power structure allows us to literally change it, directly, under its own terms, through the elections process, we must participate — we must vote! We as Americans are fortunate to have the ability to collectively shape our governing policies, affecting the lives and opportunities of millions of people. There is no more direct way to move us toward a loving society than to vote for candidates whose policies and advocacy embrace and advance this possibility.
We can do this in 2020! In Charlottesville, we can vote in the Presidential Preference Primary Election on March 3; the United States House and Senate Primary Election on June 9; and the General Election on November 3, which may also include one or more ballot measures — the most direct way for an individual to impact policy in our society.
So, go vote! If for whatever reason you can’t vote, there are plenty of ways to get involved in electoral politics, including volunteering with a campaign or just advocating within your community for the change you want to see.
If you have any questions about voting, and especially if you experience any difficulties with voting, please contact the non-partisan Election Protection coalition at 1-866-OUR-VOTE for English; 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA en Español; 1-888-API-VOTE for Asian language assistance; 1-844-YALLA-US for Arabic language assistance; or go online at 866ourvote.org/ or @866OURVOTE on twitter.
With love, Ryan