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Volume 35, No. 5

3/3/21 | Newsletter

Measuring a Year

I’ve had a particular song in my head recently. It’s from the Broadway musical Rent. I’m sure it will be in your head after reading the lyrics. “525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life? How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.”

As we enter one full year of social distancing, wearing masks, and meeting virtually, I am reminded that we’ve been separated for many minutes – a year’s worth. I grieve the fact that I haven’t been able to see most of you face to face and give each and every one of you a hug. I miss you and pray for you daily. I pray that you will experience a different year than last, a new season of love.

And in this season of love in 2021, we are reminded that we’ve measured the year differently until now. Currently we have over 510,000 Covid-19 related deaths in the United States, almost one per minute. This highlights the need for us to continue to be safe, help people in need, fight for justice, and create seasons of love even in the midst of our separation.

Recently I attended the online annual conference of Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP). The Executive Director, Kristin Houle Cuellar, will join Royal Lane for a presentation, as well as a question and answer time, for our March 10 In Focus session. I hope you will join us to learn more about the history of the death penalty in Texas and the death penalty’s effects on black and brown communities, especially those in poverty.

The Keynote speaker for the TCADP conference was Henderson Hill, the Senior Counsel at the ACLU Capital Punishment Project. He said, “Capital punishment reveals that large swaths of the population are disposable. The criminal justice system is broken.” Hill also talked about the neglect of incarcerated people and their being denied the Covid-19 vaccination. Many incarcerated people are dying or will end up dying in prisons across the country. While not on death row, many will experience death due to the surging Covid-19 cases in state and federal facilities.

As people of faith continue to find ways to create a season of love in 2021, I am proud of the current deacon board that voted unanimously to enter into a season of education and action about how our church can become anti-racist. We are called as followers of Jesus, the reformer, to work and strive against systemic racism and white supremacy. It is time for Royal Lane to lead the way as we seek to build, what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. calls, the Beloved Community.

As we move into a season of love, building and striving for Beloved Community, I will be writing more articles for the Mosaic about how we, as individuals and as a church, can learn to be anti-racist. It is my hope that we can continue our good and difficult work, and measure this upcoming year with love.

Pastor Mike