Michael J. Readinger

Michael J. Readinger

Maybe it’s me just getting older, but recently I find myself thinking of all the things I have to do — NOW! Of course, it’s only natural for me to then want everyone to march to the same tune as me so that I don’t have to wait for others to catch up.

And then there’s Advent. A time of waiting and preparation, love, hope, peace and joy. With all that is going on in the world right now, I am advocating for preparation BUT not for waiting. I am all for hope, love, peace and joy. But I am not for waiting.

More than ever, we need to act, and act now. There are so many legislative and executive actions that are disenfranchising the marginalized in our society right now that we cannot afford to wait any longer. A critical part of CHHSM’s mission and vision for creating a just, caring and compassionate world for all is tied to advocating for the people we serve. We must take it a step further, though. We also need to call those we serve to advocate for themselves alongside us. The more voices we are able to mobilize, the more likely we are to be heard.

We must make sure the stories of those we serve are heard by those who shape the macro environment that regulates the world in which we work. Health care, Medicare, tax reform, immigration, drug addiction and so many other issues are going to have a serious impact on the way we do our work and on the quality of life for those we serve. That’s why we need to make sure our voices are heard, and we need to mobilize our clients to speak out on their behalf as well. So, no more waiting. The time to act is now!

Sandy Sorenson, director of the Washington office of the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries, is a new CHHSM board member. Please take a look at her column right next door in this issue of Diakonie for the theological underpinnings and a deeper understanding of our call to advocacy!