By Alice Knowles, Vice President
According to Luke’s gospel (Luke 24:1-12) Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial clothes alone; then he went home amazed at what happened.
Easter is about amazement! It is the season of the year that as faithful we are called to the wonder of the powers of the resurrection. It is when we realize the basis of our faith, it is when we definitely realize that God is true to his word: he will be crucified and rise on the third day. And he did.
It is the season of the year that coincides with spring for us. Spring full of hope, spring of growth, spring of newness, spring of beginnings. Spring is about the wonder of the season. Despite the ravages of winter, the bad weather, the cold, the storm, the darkness – we now get to experience with wonder the joys of new life. We wonder at the new blossoms, and do we not annually consider these new blossoms as messages from the creator, reminding us of the purposes of life? The cycle continues each year and each year we renew our astonishment.
In early March, the DignityUSA board facilitated the first discussion with six faith communities to share their accomplishments, their hopes, and how the board can assist with the issues on the ground. That conversation was full of hope; the representatives shared rich stories of accomplishments, and the successes of communities often do not get press. Those accomplishments include community building activities, both spiritual and social, to keep people connected. One chapter noted that they have been identified by the transgender community as a safe place for expressing one’s faith; the chapter provides support to these newcomers. These newcomers have given hope to this community.
Groups cannot always meet for liturgy on a weekly basis, but they get together to share meals, have game nights, and regularly meet for social support. Other communities are being visited and supported by Catholics looking for alternatives to the institutional church. They are looking for communities that are committed to social justice and that offer liturgies and services consistent with their mutually held Catholic tradition. We are looking at a new DignityUSA, a DignityUSA with a more diverse membership and a DignityUSA with variety of expressions of ‘church.’
We are looking forward to hearing more from you about your reasons for hope. These are examples of rolling away the stone; these are examples of how they are amazing and wondrous. Our communities – traditional chapters, caucuses, and our online community are to be celebrated for their commitment to hope and appreciating the amazement of Easter!