Jessica Jew, MPH, is a member of EPF’s
National Executive Council.
She attends St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral
in Los Angeles, CA.
Last September, while browsing the shelves of Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, OR, I picked up a book that I continue to quote and refer to months after I finished reading it. Brene Brown’s book, Dare to Lead is her latest reflection on what it takes to “rumble” with shame and learn new ways of stepping out in courage in the workplace. One major finding from her research is that vulnerability is required for daring leadership – strong leaders aren’t infallible – in fact, these leaders recognize that they have many faults but take steps to learn from their teams rather than putting on armor to hide their weaknesses. I’ve used Brene Brown’s vocabulary on several occasions to help me articulate difficult conversations with my manager.
“Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else” Galatians 6:4
Over the course of this Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve struggled to continue to work remotely while having my 1-year old Emile at home. Luckily my husband has been able to provide some much needed support, but sometimes my role as “Mom” comes into direct conflict with my role of “Employee.” Sometimes there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that I set out to do. I must recognize that we are all living under extraordinary circumstances and it is unreasonable to expect that I’d be able to continue to do everything normally. I hold on tightly to the counsel found in Galatians, that instead of comparing myself to others and feeling badly, I must simply do the best I can with what I have been given.
“Those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Judge nothing before the appointed time; wait til the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” 1 Corinthians 4: 1-5
I also must recognize that my worth does not come from my annual performance review or the amount of money in my paycheck – while these are both important, they aren’t the only things of value. Sometimes I am my own worst critic and pass very harsh judgement on myself that often is skewed or unfair. I must take care to distinguish between criticism and judgement – otherwise I will be forever chasing after approval from others. Criticism is someone’s opinion that I can choose to hear or discard, while judgement is typically associated with a judicial decision or God’s divine and omnipotent appraisal. Instead of tearing myself apart worrying about other people’s criticism, I need to keep my eyes fixed upon the only one who can actually see me completely clearly.
Save the date! Wear orange for gun violence prevention is June 5-7, 2020. We will be filling up the social media airwaves to create awareness around the prevention of gun violence. Send us your photos and videos so we can share the energy you have for this vital social justice effort!
We invite you to join our partner in ministry, Episcopal Migration Ministries’, new initiative: Connecting Neighbors.
Connecting Neighbors allows individuals and congregations to fill the gap and directly support refugee families resettled by EMM. EMM’s network of 13 refugee resettlement affiliates continue to serve newly resettled refugee families and in very difficult circumstances.
Several needs top the list right now:
Direct support to affiliates through their websites.
Material goods to support refugee families. Items are detailed on Amazon WishLists.
Digital devices. Most importantly, affiliates need donations of gently-used digital devices – tablets, smartphones, laptops – so they can continue providing services and support to refugee families.
Contact Allison Duvall, Manager for Church Relations and Engagement, who will help you make arrangements to donate. aduvall
Thank you for your steadfast support! On Giving Tuesday, EPF raised more than $500 to support our ongoing justice and peace initiatives. It’s not too late to show your dedication to living into your baptismal promises by giving here. We appreciate your generosity!
What are you doing later this evening? EPF has published a service of evening prayer over on our Facebook page. Video above, content of prayer appears below the video, and the link to the written service is here.
EPF DELEGATION TO GENERAL CONVENTION,
APPLICATIONS ARE HERE! LINK BELOW!
For the sixth consecutive General Convention, in June, 2021, EPF will send young adults between the ages of 18-30 to General Convention to advocate for peace and justice by drafting legislation, testifying in committee, and building support for resolutions. Delegates will experience first hand how The Episcopal Church functions as the largest democratically elected governing body in the world. For applications for delegates to General Convention, click here!
COVID-19 has forced the nation into an unprecedented emergency. The current emergency, however, results from a deeper and much longer-term crisis — that of poverty and inequality, and of a society that has long ignored the needs of 140 million people who are poor or one emergency away from being poor.
In 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others called for a “revolution of values” in America and sought to build a broad movement that could unite poor and dispossessed communities across the country. Today, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has picked up this work. People across the nation have joined under the banner of the Campaign to confront the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, climate change and ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.
They are coming together to demand that the 140 million poor and low-wealth people in our nation — from every race, creed, gender, sexuality and place — are no longer ignored, dismissed or pushed to the margins of our political and social agenda.
We are physical distancing in Sisters, Oregon with friends and EPF supporters Rev. Jack and Rev. Christy Erskine for a little while longer due to COVID-19. Eventually, we will be rescheduling our pilgrimage to the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest when the coast is clear. Meanwhile, I’m doing some administrative chores, trying to keep in touch with EPF supporters, reading and praying and taking action for those for whom EPF advocates — the people living in Palestine/Israel affected by the violence there, those affected by gun violence, those affected by war, the people being held in unconscionable circumstances in our unjust and racist criminal justice system, those being treated inhumanely as they try to find safe harbor in our country of abundance, those being trafficked and abused, our beautiful planet which often feels like she is in her own death throes, and all those who feel disconnected from the rest of humanity. With God’s help. . .