Practice Love, Explore Spirituality, Build Community, Promote Justice
The day the totem pole came to East Shore will stand forever as a highlight in church history. We waited, the crowd grew, friends and strangers climbed the path, many greeting each other for this first time since Covid. When the truck pulling the totem pulled up at 3:02 I got goosebumps. The Lummi bring a message that we must unite to stop harming our mother earth or it “will shake us off, like a flea”. Our love can restore mother earth. We are all survivors together in the same fight. What is our responsibility is to mother earth? One speaker described himself as a pencil to rewrite history, an instrument of the holy to restore the planet.
The large fir trees circling the magnificent property mirrored the totem. Those trees are our ancestors. And the orca, performing twice a day at Seaworld in Florida. [need to fact check this!!] is our relative and should be allowed to retire at home in the Salish Sea. 2021 is the twentieth year of totem making by the Lummi House of Tears Carvers, starting with a memorial in NYC for the victims of 9/11.
East Shore’s deepening relationship with the Lummi and the Duwamish is a gift to be cherished and nurtured. There’s a petition to sign regarding federal recognition of the Duwamish. We can invite the tribe to give a worship service in the fall. There is more we can do, and act on the words of the 8th principle. More broadly, the Red Road to DC involved all ages; gave those of us who are white insight into another perspective. We also increased our visibility in the community, as the Bellevue mayor, two state Reps and a state Senator attended.
Equally stunning are the contributions and collaboration from so many people to make the event a success. On purpose I am not naming names; partly so I don’t leave anyone out, but more to remind us that we can always do more together. The choir, the band, the cooks who prepared food for our guests, the grounds crew sprucing up the place, several ministry teams, and many unofficial volunteers directing traffic, setting up and taking down chairs and canopies. The list goes on and on. When someone says, we couldn’t have done it without you, they mean it. What a team effort.
Same with our work ahead, guided by our mission, the board is organizing conversations about CHURCH GOALS in which staff, congregation and Board each and all contribute and commit to that which they are willing. Board listening session at 10 AM on Saturday, August 7 is the next opportunity. As I see it, in collaboration, the board tries to divine where members want to spend our energies, where we need to go, congregants follow their passions on teams and committees, and we work with the staff to get the support we need to fulfill our worthy mission.
by Mike Radow, Board President