A picture of Reverend Christine at the pulpit during her installation ceremony

This past weekend, we had some anti-abortion protestors who had targeted us because we are a collection site for petitions to put a woman’s choice to choose on the ballot in November.

Boy, have we come so far in knowing how to deal with people who want to intimidate us!

For those of you who don’t know, 2022 and 2023 brought us a number of protestors, both in-person and online that created quite an “opportunity for learning” and created a bit of trauma for me. Our Safe Congregations Team has done SO much work in helping us to prepare for it and it was SO apparent on Sunday. We knew exactly how to assess, what to do, who to engage, how to engage, what to say and what to do afterwards. Between our Welcoming Team, Brigitta and I and other level-headed helpers, we just assessed the situation and dealt with it–no drama, no incidents.

And following the incident, we have our Cactus Wren team who is writing up the incident and checking on everyone who was involved.

And I’ve come a long way as well, leaving the situation in good hands, going and grounding myself before worship and checking in with my body to realize that I felt safe and confident in the situation.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of our community in what we stand for, how we respond, how we care for each other, and how we rely on each other to keep us safe.

Unfortunately, we are in an environment where we will always need to be aware. We will continue to train and continue to enhance our culture of caring for each other–in all the ways we can imagine. There will be more opportunities to unpeel what “safety” really means and how we can be proactive AND compassionate at the same time.

I am so proud of us, and so honored to be part of a community that is doing this work so intentionally.