Welcoming a Royal Opportunity

Were you one of the two billion people who viewed the Royal Wedding?  If you did I bet you were among those who were impressed by not only the pomp and circumstance but by the surprising Gospel music and compelling message.

What Impressed you most about the Royal wedding?

Were you also impressed by the remarkable impact for our British neighbors of Prince Harry marrying a beautiful American bride Meghan Markle? Reportedly the marriage has humanized the monarchy for younger Brits and nearly half of Londoners who are from other cultures and countries.

The wedding service reflected an appreciation of Markle’s African heritage.  A black choir from east London sang a moving gospel song.  Reportedly what gathered the greatest acclaim from those at the event was the electric sermon by Michael Curry the head of the Episcopal Church in America.  His high energy delivery was like that of a charismatic African American church.

How was the Royal wedding centered in change making?

Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Michael Curry proclaimed “We must rediscover the power of love, the redemptive power of love…and when we do it will make this old world into a new world.

“As the Royal Wedding Unfurled, It Seemed World Was Watching,” declared The New York Times, May 20, 2018

I imagine as a teenager the last thing Prince Harry was likely thinking about was having an impact on the lives of others. Deeply overwhelmed by the tragic death of his mother Princes Diana, Prince Harry “described his adolescence as ‘total chaos.’”  As he entered his 20’s he began to turn his grief into services to make difference in the lives of others.

He started in 2009 with his brother, Prince William, to start a foundation to both empower disadvantaged adolescents from different cultures and promote environmental sustainability.

In 2011 he started Invictus Games to help empower wounded vets in the UK. Last December he took HIV testing kits to Barbados on World Aids Day.

As a successful actress Meghan Markle has become a global ambassador for World Vision in Canada for gender empowerment. She has also become an advocate for women of color. In addition, Meghan has become an World Vision advocate for a clean water campaign in Rwanda.

Now Prince Harry and Meghan Markle view themselves as “united by causes that impassion them, the couple sets a promising example of seeking out social justice and change in both the United Kingdom and abroad.”(observer.com Nov 29, 2017 – The Social Causes That United Prince Harry and Meghan Markl)

How can we all become agents of change in times like these?

This is invitation to followers of Jesus to join all those in the U.K .and the U.S .who are working for racial, economic and environmental justice.

This work has never been more urgent in the US. We are seeing growing animosities towards people of color, people from other cultures and religions. We only have to remember Ferguson, Baltimore and the recent white supremacist rallies to realize we don’t live in a post-racial America.

Dori Baker, a United Methodist leader, working with the Rutba House in Raleigh Durham, headed a “Holy Pilgrimage.” She took a racially diverse group of 14 young people on a “deep dive” in Southern states as non-violent protestors  and won the Voting Rights Act 50 years ago. (p.171 Live Like You Give A Damn! Join the Changemaking Celebration)

Welcoming refugee families from the middle east with festive meals is a part of life of the Axiom church plant in Syracuse, New York. In fact they are working to help these new neighbors successfully settle in their neighborhood.

In March I spoke to leaders of the Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.  I was impressed by those are working for racial, economic and environmental justice.  For example, First CRC Church is supporting the work of Martin Luther King Elementary School in their neighborhood. While there I also discovered a ministry called the Tree Tops Collective.  This team of millennial innovators headed by Dana Doll started a social enterprise to offer job training for moms from Syria to become economically self-reliant.

There are many more followers of Jesus making efforts in the work for racial, economic and environmental justice in the U.S., the U.K., and around the globe. These are stories that encourage and inspire us as we work for the renewal of all things.

Send us your stories of how you are joining those who are working for racial, economic and environmental justice as followers of Jesus. We would like to share some of your stories with our readers!

Tom Sine twsine@gmail.com  www.newchangemakers.com

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Tom Sine
Tom Sine is a founder of Mustard Seed Associates and the author of Live Like You Give a Damn!: Join the Changemaking Celebration. Tom earned his Ph.D. at the University of Washington and has taught at the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University, and Fuller Seminary in Seattle. He speaks widely at colleges, churches, and missions conferences around the world. He and his wife Christine live in an inter-generational community in Seattle where he works with individuals, churches and organizations to foster new ways of affecting organic, lasting change in various sociological contexts.
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