The NC Council of Churches is proud to publish a brand new e-book collection of testimonies from Moral Mondays. With 32 short vignettes from North Carolinians across the state, Voices of Moral Mondays tells the story of everyday folks being motivated to speak out on account of their faith. Many, though not all, of the accounts describe what it was like to engage in civil disobedience and be arrested by the authorities. Click here to download the free e-book.
By Rev. Jeanne Finan, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Asheville
I was on a three-month sabbatical away from my parish when I began to hear about the Moral Monday protests. I read an article by Jonathan Wilson-Hargrove explaining why he chose to be arrested. A clergy friend posted on our FB clergy group page to see if there were those in Western North Carolina who wanted to go to Raleigh. I connected with the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins on Facebook to find out the where and when.
I began to ponder the question, “Where is the church? Where are the clergy?” I realized that I needed to go to Raleigh and stand. Where are the clergy? Well, some of us are right here. I wanted to make the statement with my presence that I care. I wanted to make the statement that I felt our legislators were moving farther and farther away from the truths of the gospel and farther and farther away from the desires and needs of the people of my beloved home state. So I called some clergy friends from across the state, and we met in Raleigh that day — in the rain.
I chose to not be arrested because I feared it might prevent my ministry with those in prison and yes, sadly, some who have been arrested are now banned from ministering to those in prison. I was extremely moved that day when those who were making that very difficult and profound decision to commit an act of civil disobedience marched two by two together through a parted sea of umbrellas and entered into the Legislative Building.
Since that day others in my congregation made the long trek to Raleigh for Moral Mondays. People care. The church cares. We are called to care for the entire community, most especially the poor. How could I not go and make that stand?