You have heard the expression, right? I have a t-shirt which reads, “Keep Calm and Garden On” and I have seen dozens of variations: Keep Calm and Golf On, Keep Calm and Sing On, etc.
The original of course, Keep Calm and Carry On, was a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for the Second World War. The poster was intended to raise the morale of the British public.
It seems everywhere I go in the past couple of months, people are worried.
The results of the American election have invaded many people’s psyche to the point where each day you wonder what has happened overnight.
I go to my community choir practise and it inevitably comes into the conversation at some point; my Tuesday Reading Club members (who are all educated, independent, and open minded women) talk about it weekly; even at yoga where you end the class with the chant of “Om” for “the peace and harmony of all” the communal sound takes a few minutes to blend into one.
We, as Presbyterians, also acknowledge our concern for the future of our denomination; how do we learn to listen and respect each others views; can we live together as a family?
Usually when I am worried my mantra is, “Be Still and know that I am God,” but in these circumstances I don’t think we can Be Still.
We need to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves or who are vulnerable—for women’s rights, for the education of children, for those in the LGBTQ community, for refugees, and our beloved brothers and sisters who follow a different faith pattern, but are still part of our family of Abraham.
One opportunity we have available to us this year is to come together as Presbyterian Women at the National Women’s Gathering where the theme is, “Rooted in Love”.
To listen, learn, love, and lead.
Dr. Mary Jo Leddy is a Canadian writer, speaker, theologian, and social activist. She is the founder of Romero House Community for Refugees in Toronto and is one of the keynote speakers at the Gathering.
Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese is a gynecologist and founder of Save the Mothers. She works in Uganda for over half the year and is an associate Professor at McMaster University and University of Waterloo.
Dr. Cindy Blackstock has worked tirelessly on behalf of First Nations children and their families. She works with Indigenous youth, UNICEF, and has collaborated with other Indigenous leaders to assist the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Listen, learn, love, and lead.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV)
Keep Calm and Carry On. And may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.