February 3, 2017

What is one to do in this political season? Many of us are reaching a point of exhaustion regarding the high-level tension in the national political ‘conversation’. Many others are ready for action and are calling all leaders to join in.

The main concern of churches should be pastoral and ethical. Pastoral includes caring and praying for all in need, regardless, including for our political leaders, which is a Biblical tradition. The equally Biblical ethical concern includes a permanent call for justice, outreach to people in peril, and advocacy against oppression. But the general conversation, or what is left of it, is spilling over into deafening hate speech, hardening positions beyond the audible reach of the voice of these concerns.

To address this situation, much more will be needed than can be expressed in this enews format. But one thing we all need in these days is a break from the political frenzy. What are the chances to get such a break? Our family decided to go to Kidcity, the children’s museum in Middletown, CT. It was the best escape strategy for the week. The “museum” transports children and adults alike into different universes of the farm life, the ocean world, or the excitement of the 1950’s. To see the children interact with smoke and bubble machines, carrots gardens or loaves of bread made us see once more how much promise, potential, and joy is coming into these children’s lives.

Back in the car ride home our smartphones were immediately telling us again about the latest political issues. But our Kidcity experience made us realize right away the deep need we all sense to find a community and a country that creates the same room of promise, potential and joy for our children. Of course we cannot transform the reality of daily life into a Kidcity dreamland. But there are multiple opportunities. One example is the McKinsey Company that calculates the value of such promise and potential when addressing the question of women’s equal pay. Their conclusion is stunning: advancing womens’ equality would add 12 trillion dollars to the global growth.  (

My prayer today is that we find more of these experiences and studies that contribute to promise and joy for the future of all.