Hundreds of people from UCC churches across the Conference took part in the Women's March on Washington, and the sister marches in Boston and other cities.
The Massachusetts Conference recently invited them to answer the question: "Why does your faith call you to march?"
Also, read these blog posts:
And So I Walk…
by The Rev. Carol Steinbrecher
At The Boston Women's March For America,
by Shel Tscherne, The Plymouth Church in Framingham
Group from Plymouth Church in Framingham on the way to the Boston march
I can only speak for myself in declaring that it was an awesome day. “Awesome” is often over used, but it is appropriate for me. Certainly I was struck by the size of the turnout. But I also became interested in the various causes championed on homemade signs. Save the Earth, Science Matters, LGBTQ rights, Immigrant support, Women’s reproductive rights, Love not Hate – those are just a sample. Sure, there were signs directed at Trump, but many people “went high, not low”.
I was further stunned by the media broadcasts about the unexpectedly huge turnouts not only in the USA, but abroad as well. It surely reinforces the fact that women are/can be a real force – especially when we are “riled up”. I truly don’t know the details but I think it was women in Northern Ireland who finally took to the streets and said “Enough is enough”. Too many husbands, sons, brothers and fathers were dying in the Irish conflicts. I think that drove the opposing sides to the peace conference table. Maybe someday I will read up on that. But that’s an image from my lifetime that I am thinking about now. Women matter.
Plymouth Church, Framingham
There were five of us from South Church in Andover on the bus organized by the Burlington, UCC ... Am I glad I went? Indeed. To be a part of this and to see how many thousands of people are willing to show their distaste for proposed Congressional and Presidential actions was heartening. I confess to still being scared to death for our country.
South Church in Andover
The march gave me two things that had been shaken in me: perspective and hope. The perspective came with the reminder that history happens and what we are left with is the choice of how we respond. And with it came the recognition of the good that has already come from the inauguration. For one there was the massive coming together of people realizing together that they are being challenged to awaken their best selves. So then, hope has not be lost, it simply needed a renewal of attachment.
First Congregational Church of Princeton, UCC
My experience (in Boston) was amazing: it was a day filled with love, unity and peace. I was so happy to see people unified in purpose and determined to make statements for themselves that spoke to the need for change and ACTION!
Laura A. Cole
First Congregational Church of Falmouth
As we march, talk and walk,
The Clergy lift up there prayers in love.
May God fill our hearts with grace.
As followers of the Prince of Peace
who's loves knows no bounds.
Guide my feet oh Lord
toward the beautiful city of God.
Oh, guide my aching feet Lord
We have only just begun..........
Old South Church in Boston
“The person who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as the one who helps perpetrate it. The person who accepts evil without protesting against it, is really cooperating with it.” (MLK, “Stride toward Freedom,” adapted)
I march to stand on the side of love, not hate.
I march for the future of this country, for the future of this world.
I march so that no woman, immigrant, refugee feels alone.
I march because I must.
I march because I am a woman and our rights deserve to be protected and upheld.
I march because I am an aunt, a sister, a daughter.
I march because I can.
Rev. Tara Olsen Allen
Pastor for Congregational Life
Second Congregational UCC, Beverly
I had heard of this march to be held in D.C. on Jan 21st, but knew I would not be able to be there for many reasons and so committed myself to prayer for all those marching. Then I saw that there would be a march in Boston and felt strongly that I had to be there as I live only 40 miles from Boston!
I found myself in total disbelief throughout all of 2016 regarding the path this country was heading down with all of the harsh rhetoric, the increase in disturbing language, intolerance, and misogynistic behavior. I am only one person, but I can at least do this march to let people know that I am standing in solidarity with my sisters.
Groveland Congregational Church
I am headed to DC for the Women’s March because my faith calls me to stand with those who are marginalized - differently-abled people, LGBTQ people, women, immigrants, and those of non-Christian faiths. In the face of this recent political season, I want those who are feeling uncomfortable to know that I see them. I am standing with them. And I will do everything I can, as I have in the past, to hold space for them in our country.
The phrase “one another” is used 59 times in the New Testament. Anything said that many times deserves attention. Scripture tells us to honor one another (Romans 12:10), love one another (John 13 & 15, 1 John, 2 John), teach and admonish one another (Colossians 3:16). We are also told to welcome the stranger among us. Hebrews 13 tells us not to neglect showing hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels. And Matthew 25 reads, “…I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” The parable teaches that whatever we do for others we do for Jesus.
I work for Jesus and God, and so i will speak for and do justice, love kindness, and march humbly with God. I will not be silent in the face of false, rude, demeaning, or otherwise harmful speech, and I will be a voice for the voiceless so that such speech does not guide public policy. I will march for the honor and dignity of all human beings.
The Rev. Jennifer Valentine
Pastor, First Congregational Church of Southampton, UCC
I feel as a Christian, I am called to love and support others and to rise up when there is injustice. I am aware that some may feel politics and religion do not mix or that the very idea of speaking about it can lead to divisiveness. However, I believe the Light in God's world (transparency) begins with us and that our non actions speak volumes too. If we don't stand up and take notice that means we are complacent and unwilling to change and make the earth a better place for all of God's family, and I mean ALL!
Fundamentally, it is our job as Christian's to protect everyone's rights. Our religion is based on acceptance and love. There will always be perspectives and opinions that may differ from our own. I choose to embrace and LOVE the differences in all God's people.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER! " The honorary duty of a human being is to love." Maya Angelou.
Laura A. Cole
First Congregational Church of Falmouth
I march because I am standing on the side of love; love for women, children, people of color, immigrants, and Muslims. I march with great respect for our country, the United States of America. My voice, my feet, my body matters, just as every single other citizen and resident living in our beautiful United States of America.
I respect our flag. We began this nation with dissent. Our founding fathers disagreed, worked together and wrote a Constitution where “We the people of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect union…include all people regardless of gender, orientation, race, ethnicity or religion. And we are all endowed with inalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I’m grateful for the rule of law which will protect both those celebrating the Inauguration of our 45th President of the United States on January 20th, 2017 and the large Women’s March happening on January 21st.
I’m thankful that peaceful protest will be protected by the rule of law and National Park Rangers and police officers so that we can exercise our freedom of voice and movement. Please pray for the safety of all who march and all who celebrate the peaceful transition of power from President Barak Obama to President Elect Donald Trump.
The Rev. Christine E. Burns
Associate Pastor, West Parish of Barnstable, UCC