Dear College Avenue Friends,
I found happy news and sad news in today’s paper. The happy news is that marriage equality for same-sex couples in California was affirmed by a federal appeals court. The sad news is that Modesto’s City Council approved an ordinance that criminalizes homeless people in our community.
My judgment about what’s happy and what’s sad isn’t just a personal opinion. It’s also determined by our church’s mission to “seek joy and justice for all creation”—part of our official mission statement and part of the gospel of Jesus that we proclaim.
Maybe the happy news is obvious to most of us. The sad news may not be as obvious because it’s related to the issue of homeless people camping in our parks, which involves certain problems of safety and sanitation. But many of us at yesterday’s public hearing attested to the fact that such problems can be addressed without criminalizing homeless people. Unfortunately, the City Council chose politics over justice for those who are poor.
I invite you to dedicate your heart to our mission, to listen to your heart in judging the news of the day, and to use your voice to champion God’s joy and justice in a world of need!