Last Saturday, as concerned groups all over DC were preparing to protest the white nationalists gathering this past Sunday, Western hosted what we called “A Mindful Response.” If you missed it, you missed something that wasn’t exactly a counter-demonstration, nor was it standard worship, nor was it just mindful meditation.
We at Western were learning to “be church” for the larger community, as we meditated on loving our enemies and then moved to the Foggy Bottom metro to leave chalk messages for all who would be there the following day.
It wasn’t the usual church crowd – at more than 200 people, it included, among others:
- one woman from Potomac Plaza who rarely, if ever, steps foot in our building, but told all of her neighbors about the response;
- members from Burke Presbyterian who came wearing t-shirts proclaiming s “receive love; give love; repeat”;
- Department of Justice employees in town to give support to the DC community;
- a Reuters photographer who “doesn’t usually do this kind of thing on the job”;
- two women who were part of an NAACP gathering;
- a group of teenagers from Northwest DC who hadn’t planned on coming but ended up on TV explaining the importance of showing up.
Thanks go out to John Molina-Moore, Kirsten Melone, Naomia Suggs-Brigety, and Dorothee Stieber for planning; Jess Fisher for doing excellent work sharing the news; elders Todd Trafford and Cindy Stevens for helping with communion; deacons Dave Escobar, Marilyn Manolo, Greta Morris, and Letitia Obeng for helping to pass out chalk, and Bob Layton for great camera work.
As we get ready for fall – for students returning to Foggy Bottom, for the beginning of our program year, I hope we continue to find ways to be church – to respond with good news of our faith in a mindful manner – for our larger community.
Grace and peace,
Did you miss the service? Watch this news clip to learn more: