In an age where communication has become so disembodied–where communication can happen so easily without you being in the same place as me–I have been struck by the advice of political insiders who say that if you want to influence your representatives, you should show up as embodied as possible. Phone calls are betters than emails or petitions. Showing up in person (like a small crew of UUFSCers are doing every Tuesday morning at 10:30 at Jeff Denham’s office) is the most effective and persuasive means of communication. No matter how “easy” communication gets, there is power in bodies showing up together in the same room. Like we do on Sunday mornings for worship. Like some of us did on Wednesday night at College Ave Congregational for a town hall on the Affordable Care Act. Power=bodies being together.
David Frum, a writer for the Atlantic and former George W. Bush speechwriter, said in an interview this week “Democrats are powerless and Republicans are complicit. Change that. Republicans will change when they get scared of losing their seats. Democrats will change when they feel empowered. So be an active citizen. What’s happening at town halls I find tremendously encouraging. This is politics happening… Meetings are what make democracy go. But meetings may be tedious. Protests are fun, but protests are effective to the extent they motivate people to attend the meetings.”
I think all of us have complained about meetings, particularly if you have ever been involved in leadership in a congregation! Indeed, meetings can be tedious. But it is bringing our bodies together that something special can happen, where power can be realized. Sometimes, I think religious community is so important because it’s based on the simple idea that people should gather together regularly and sing together. Where does your body spend time and with whom? Where else do you want your body to go?
This Sunday, Sharon Arpoika and Sue Cotter lead worship: Trusting the Journey–Sometimes a journey is not just about where you go – it’s about being open to the insights you gain along the way. Sue Cotter will share some reflections on her experiences traveling around the country in a campervan.