With an energetic and fast-paced oratory, the Rev. Dr. Janet Wolf, an Elder from the Tennessee Conference, challenged those gathered for Wednesday night’s Evening Worship to be the church and live out the radically-inclusive love of Jesus. Wolf cited ways in which she sees the church as complicit in the racist, misogynistic, empirical, and economically oppressive nature of human governments, and she encouraged the church to follow the Lamb who is by no means…a lamb.
Using scripture from the book of Revelation, Wolf acknowledged
that change is hard. She has seen this first-hand as a poverty rights
organizer, a community mediator, a pastor of prison ministry, and
expert in the study of non-violent movements.
“Worship in Revelation is not silence in sanctuaries,” said Wolf.
“It is stunning joy erupting in the middle of the chaos and
confusion. It’s cosmic holy wonder and delight. It’s hand clapping,
soul singing, toe-tapping dancing in the streets. It is praise and
celebration in the middle of hardest hurt. It’s not an escape. It’s not
sloppy sentimentality. This is a thundering explosive earthquake of
alleluia… This is not a denial of evil…not a theological treatise but a
Wolf urged the church to come to the water of life, a water that
seeks to quench the fires of injustice and a water that baptizes
people in the knowledge that they are worthy, they are beloved
and a precious child of God. She challenged the church “into
creative, courageous, militant, death-defying, non-violent Kin-dom
living here and now. The church is not an escape, a safe haven.
It’s not where we go to avoid the problems of the world. It’s the
community that empowers us to wade into struggles for justice in