Empowering Voices with Connected Spirits
Throughout the month of October, I have been granted the enhanced awareness of noticing what is not being said or said enough partially because society is not giving way for voices to speak and partially because there aren’t enough ears tuned in. Some may think that there is so much being said because the conversation of racial injustice continues since George Floyd was murdered. Well I would like to put on the table we, as a Just Peace congregation, seem to be having less conversation about Justice.
I wonder if there are effects of Covid-19 on the Spirit of Justice. I wonder if the Spirit of Justice needs to be nurtured back to health because it has been a casualty of Covid 19. Today, I want to remind you. today, I want you to listen to your Spirit. Today, I want you to remember who you are in spite of; I invite us all to settle in with the child of God inside of us. The child that believes everything is possible. The Disciple that is now, and has been, committed to a Just Kindom.
I would like us to actively resume our work as a Just Peace church. I would like us to start by consciously choosing to listen to the voices of the marginalized. To notice not only, the words but the sentiments, and what needs to be heard. To move away from the rhetoric of debate and power struggles. To notice, your spirit’s response to where you are in relation to Justice and Peace work. It is time to convene a Just Peace Ministry team again. We will look deeper at the effectiveness of our activities. We can do justice, love mercy and walk humbly, together.
For now, I invite us to share our discomforts, challenges, fears angst and delights regarding this work with each other, a clearing of sorts to prepare ourselves and our spirits. In this invitation I want to also remind you of our little use resources within the church to share your views, thoughts or experiences there are the “Covenantal Info” and “Covenantal Conversation” pages on our website. These pages were introduced to us via an email from David Bristow on Sept. 15, 2020. The Covenantal Conversation can be a useful platform to share and or participate in dialogue with others. If you need the password to these pages, check that email or contact David. Also, we have our members at large, Carol Burbank and Jeanne Harrington. They are available assist in addresing any questions or concerns you may have regarding our church, by responding directly or ensuring your issue gets to the right person(s).
Lastly, I submit the attached article and my response letter to the editor as an example of how justice nor equity can be achieved, when the platform does not allow space for those voices negatively impacted to speak. This letter is not about my story as much as an example of allowing space for the possibility that things are not necessarily as presented, and how that culminates into incomplete truths. One of the places where injustice lives.
Evictions Remain Flat’ 10/21/21
I am writing this letter to inform you that the number of “evictions” and stated percentages in the article may not be fully accurate means for gauging whether people are losing their housing due to challenges during the Covid-19 moratorium. I offer as preponderance, an Oct. 2021 experience:
I was informed that I owed back rent, due immediately. This was due to an oversight in a 33 pg. lease. My rent had increased $150/mo. effective 06/01/21; without notification. It was deemed that I was legally responsible for this amount. Denied a payment plan, I gave 30 days notice. The response was 10 days to Remit or Surrender and accrue additional charges.
This apartment is part of Colorado Apartment Association. The same association whose general counsel, Drew Hamrick, was quoted in the article. They are not part of any government or social service agency. They have 433,000 apartments in Colorado. Does Hamrick’s numbers include Colorado’s other 424,500 rentals? My own experience makes me think the measuring tools are inaccurate. The Courts, Community Development Division, and Colorado Springs Housing Authority have stats also. I wonder if the process of “remit or surrender” serves as a smokescreen that clouds our ability to see what is actually happening in the area of housing retention in Colorado Springs.
This letter is not my story. It is an invitation to us all, to also look through the lens of the marginalized, when we look at injustice. Complete truth should be our guidance.