I know the plans I have for you, says Our Maker,
plans for your welfare and not for harm,
to give you a future with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
I believe in the Beloved Future that scripture proclaims. I think you do too. But after sitting through numerous committee meetings of the first three weeks of the 2022 legislature session, I’m convinced that many have forgotten or never heard of a Beloved Future.
We need you to join the Beloved Future Now rally, Wednesday, February 2, 2022, at 2:00 pm in the Capitol Courtyard. Together we will proclaim that God intends wellbeing for all.
Right now, legislators who are pressing for a Beloved Future are in the minority and need our physical support. When they see us faith leaders in the audience, their courage is increased.
The prospects for a sudden change in direction are admittedly small at the moment. Our showing up now lays the foundation for the work ahead of us this summer that can change the direction in next year’s legislature for which every seat is up for re-election in the fall.
If faith leaders don’t say otherwise, then it looks like society wants the dominion of white supremacy. It looks like there’s no one who can insist on fairness and dignity for everyone.
Faith leaders must make clear that God intends a shared future we all hope in, whatever our heritage, background, identity, or capabilities. God intends a Florida in which every Floridian knows and feels they belong. A Florida everyone knows they flourish in. A Florida that shows the world how we embrace each other and are enriched by what makes us each distinct. A Florida where love for one another is the measure of our character. A place where the great variety of cultures, ethnicities, and identities find that they all are made stronger by truly understanding each other.
Yet bill after bill being heard in committees would privilege a limited few. Proposals to erase history, deny identity, rollback wages, ban children, control women, favor bigotry, fuel mass incarceration, and reward the rich are getting hearings and moving forward. Legislation that addresses affordable housing, provides healthcare, strengthens education, safeguards water, and prohibits slavery is ignored. A dystopian vision is being crafted in the name of a fictional past to please ambitious power brokers.
But we know God calls us to something new. We must proclaim a Beloved Future if we are going to see it and live into it. Your voice and presence can strengthen those struggling for the common good in the legislature. As the session heads into its finally weeks, now is when the faith voice might turn heads and empower hearts to vote for the good of all rather than for special interests that hurt the rest of us.
The time for showing up has come. Please adjust your schedule so you attend the Beloved Future Now rally on Wednesday, February 2, at the Florida Capitol.
In the unity of the Beloved Community!
The Rev. Dr. Russell L. Meyer