As a Christian born in 1960 who has always wanted a better world, the civil rights movement has been a key reference point for me. It’s where I’ve looked, all my life, for guidance on how ordinary, faith-driven, not-wealthy people like you and me can drive transformative change. The “I Have A Dream” speech of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is by now in my spiritual DNA.
The fact that the civil rights movement succeeded, despite crushing obstacles, feeds my conviction that Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) initiative can succeed, despite push-back, much less intense than Dr. King faced, currently from the Portland Business Alliance.
This week I am attending PCEF’s court hearing this Friday April 20th at 1 p.m. to show my support (silent witness, no public comment). It’s at Multnomah County Courthouse (1021 SW 4th Ave, Portland, room TBA). Please see more info below. I would love it if you joined me!
One week from today, Earth Sunday April 22nd I’m asking my congregation, Lincoln Street Methodist in Southeast Portland, to endorse PCEF. (While our pastor Elizabeth Winslea has already endorsed it, that’s different from a congregation’s endorsement. We should always be clear on that distinction.) My church knows the ask is coming; they know PCEF expresses our Christian values of Creation care and social justice. A yes will make us the first church to endorse PCEF, to my knowledge. I will tell you in a future post how this goes!
In general, here is what I’ll keep in mind as our PCEF work gets opposed or met with indifference: when Dr. King was assassinated in 1968, only 33% of the U.S. had a positive view of him. The other two-thirds ranged from feeling uneasy about him to hating him, many actually celebrating with glee when he was murdered. Yet now, 50 years later, everyone is clear that he, and the civil rights he worked for, was on the side of moral justice.
A 1% surcharge on billionaire corporations that creates green jobs for the underprivileged and slows the climate change that’s harming Creation is clearly, to me, on the side of moral justice. I need, though, to hold that conviction with humility, not arrogance, and work tirelessly with fellow people of faith – that’s you! – to build a bit of the blessed community that Dr. King named in his dream.
thanks and blessings,
To go fast, go alone.
To go far, go together.
– African proverb