Karen Murray-Hopf
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It snowed last night. We knew it was coming and we collectively were disappointed after having experienced a bit of the warmth of spring. Yet upon awakening and seeing it, one couldn't help but also recognize the quiet, pure white beauty of it covering everything. And we had hope that spring would be back soon.

And then I thought about yesterday when so many of us were glued to our tv's or phones, waiting for news that would either be upsetting or bring a glimmer of hope. And hope prevailed in the form of a conviction for a crime that the world will never forget. Yes, even in the midst of something that was so very horrendous, there is a wee bit of something positive, something to inspire change across a nation that has dealt with racial violence and hate for far too long. 

This popular hymn, the Black national anthem, was born more than a century ago, but within the African American community, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” has resurrected a beacon of hope during nationwide protests. 

Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won

Stony the road we trod
Bitter the chastening rod
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died
Yet with a steady beat
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?

We have come over a way that with tears has been watered
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered
Out from the gloomy past
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast

God of our weary years
God of our silent tears
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way
Thou who has by Thy might Led us into the light
Keep us forever in the path, we pray

Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee
Shadowed beneath Thy hand
May we forever stand
True to our God
True to our native land
Our native land

 

This is Alicia Keys' beautiful rendition.

A statement from the United Church of Canada's full-communion partners the United Church of Christ (USA) on the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is worth reading here. But these words stuck with

A statement from the United Church of Canada's full-communion partners the United Church of Christ (USA) on the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is worth reading here. But these words stuck with me:

"Let us all breathe deeply. There is a grief to feel, a pain and suffering to acknowledge, and a life to commemorate.

Let us continue to engage in the struggle for justice and peace.

Let us commit to our individual and collective acts of love for all.

And let us rejoice in the power of a God who offers resurrection hope in the midst of all of our struggles with death, with evil, and with injustice."

 

Amen and amen.

Karen Murray's-Hopf

Media & Communication Coordinator