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Religious Leader’s Column: Seeking Justice with Joy and Rest

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“Rest is a beautiful interruption in a world that has no pause button.” 

-The Nap Ministry

The Nap Ministry is an amazing instagram account started by Tricia Hersey. Hersey is an activist who grounds her experience in womanism and liberation theology. Her stories and posts remind her followers, especially people of color, that rest is liberation for those who are expected to work by a system of oppression. Resting is a joyful expression of being a human being. It is our God-given right. Her nap ministry has held group nap sessions and pop-up street demonstrations along with teaching people through social media about the importance of rest and self-care. 

This message of rest is necessary in our advocacy work. We know that much injustice exists in our world. We see suffering and inequality. Sometimes, we feel so small in the face of the world’s great need. And yet, we can find joy in our faith, and renewal in times of rest and play. This joy and rest gives us the courage to continue our work.

I’m reminded of the JONAH training sessions. In these sessions, facilitators encourage everyone to choose one particular way to work for justice and advocacy by choosing one issue that was very important to them. I think that’s very powerful as we think about all the justice issues of JONAH. We all need to be educated and support this work as a whole- but perhaps you can choose one area to focus your advocacy work. 

To do this ask this question: What is one issue that really breaks your heart, or one place where you see a need? How can you get involved? When you feel called to act, you can reach out to the JONAH teams and join with them in this work. 

On the other hand, If you realize you are committed to too many issues in your life, perhaps you can refocus your activism so that you have more time for rest and renewal.  

Now, go take a nap!

In Joy and Rest,

Pastor Jamie Brieske, Immanuel Lutheran Church