Dear Friends in Ministry,

Thank you for serving as a minister in the Region of Oklahoma! I am always grateful for your pastoral presence, your leadership, and your faithfulness especially in the last few months. I know you all are physically, mentally, and spiritually weary from all that you have had to do to transition to on-line worship. And yet, you are still hopeful, encouraging, and caring for your flock in amazing, creative ways. While I highly recommend some down time for rest and re-creation, I also realize this weekend is bringing another round of anxiety, especially in Tulsa.

The Presidential Rally is headed to Tulsa. Hundreds of thousands of people will be attending this Presidential Rally. My mind and heart cannot even fathom the timing of this event on Saturday, June 20th, for a couple of reasons. June 19th is the celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation, and Tulsa’s history includes one of the worst race massacres in history in 1921. I also am having a difficult time imagining all the people already arriving in Tulsa expecting to stay in hotels and eating. Yes, the economy will receive a boost with sales. Yes, the protests will be significant, extensive, and maybe tumultuous, despite all efforts to be peaceful. Unfortunately, the biggest attender of this event will be Covid-19.

The Digital Poor People’s Campaign is also on Saturday, June 20th. This campaign is a movement of tens of of thousands of people across our nation who will be participating safely from their own homes. This campaign seeks to end the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, militarism and the war economy, ecological devastation, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. The Poor People’s Campaign needs our presence, our voice of advocacy, and our dollars to make a difference in our fragmented world.

I do not wish to tell you what to choose because both are important each in their own way. But I do wish to share that my family and I are participating in the Poor People’s Campaign. I am participating in this campaign because I want to stand with and advocate FOR our most vulnerable neighbors, the millions of poor and low-income people, with my presence and my dollars. These people are blessed, they matter to me and my family, and I believe our voices matter more in this movement.

We are certainly in a holy and historical season of uncertainty, deep grief, and hope. I continue to pray mightily for each and every one of you, your families, your church members, your community, our Region. As we rise strong to follow a call to action for justice, may God’s love, peace, and grace continue to surround us and speak through our voices.

Peace & God’s Grace,

P.S. If you would like to participate in the June 20 Digital Poor People’s Campaign, here is a link for more information. The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington