A Letter from Pastor Jeff Wells & Pastor Elyse Ambrose

November 9, 2016

Dear friends, fellow disciples, and lovers of God’s expansive, inclusive justice,

Many of us woke up this morning stunned, shaken, and depressed. Without knowing precisely what is ahead for our country, we are surely entering a very difficult time. We honor your deep pain, anxiety, fear, and anger along with our own. We encourage you to be with loved ones and trusted friends and also to reach out to us when you feel the need to talk, pray, or just vent. We also want to encourage you not to fall into despair or hopelessness. We are also confirmed in our belief that God has always and will always be with us in our pain, our challenges, and our struggle to build radically inclusive beloved community. We will stand together to hold one another up and allow God to hold us up, too.

We will be challenged to find new reserves of strength and courage within ourselves and our community. This is a time to help one another heal, but it is not a time to cower or retreat. Those of us who strive for love and justice in the world will need to work through our grief and our fear and find courage in each other and our community so that we can stand, teach, inspire others, resist, protest, care, and love. We will show leadership, strength, and courage so that others might find the strength to love, because we know that only love can overcome hate.

We want to echo the words of Bishop Karen Oliveto:
I believe in the power of love. It cannot be legislated. It is lived out. It is realized when we stand with the poor and the marginalized. It is embodied when we seek justice for the oppressed. It is the heartbeat of humanity that cannot be stopped by hatred or fear. It is the recognition of our brother and sister in those whose names we don’t know, whose dignity we will honor and protect. This is the love that God calls us to, which always and forever moves us all towards Beloved Community. No candidate can stop it. Tomorrow, I will arise to love my brothers and sisters, the earth, and all living beings. As a follower of Jesus, I can do no other.”

The Church of the Village will continue to be a bold, loving, welcoming community that provides a safe, affirming place for all – just as we are – and strives to realize God’s loving vision for humanity.

Pastor Jeff Wells and Pastor Elyse Ambrose