Since 1914 Mother’s Day has been a national observance on the second Sunday of May in our country. Did you know that Julia Ward Howe, a Unitarian, was the first person to try to start a Mother’s Day, back in 1870? Her reasons for doing so had nothing to do with the Hallmark card reality that has evolved in which buying cards, flowers, and gifts for mothers and taking them out for dinner is seen as the norm. Rather, because Julia had lived through the Civil War and seen some of the worst effects of that war in death and disease and in its aftermath on the lives of widows and orphans of soldiers on both sides of the war, she called on women to rise up and oppose war in all its forms. She wanted to organize a Mother’s Day for Peace.
The declaration she wrote begins with the words, “Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears!”
And so it seems appropriate to me that on Sunday afternoon members and friends (women and men!) of Christ Congregational Church, UCC, and I plan to be part of the Mother’s Day March to End Child Detention at the Homestead Temporary Influx Facility. This is the largest and only FOR PROFIT child detention center in the country, where over 2500 migrant children (to be increased to 3200), aged 13 years old to 17 years old, are housed in overcrowded, unregulated tents away from their families.
We do have hearts and we do care about the children there. We have hearts full of Christ’s love to share, and we have hearts for justice and peace. And so we’ll march together with other mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers whose hearts hurt for the very real children we can glimpse over the fence surrounding the facility. And I’ll be very surprised if we don’t receive a taste of God’s kingdom in the process. For in my experience, that’s what usually happens when we’re living out our Christian calling. And that’s better than any card!
Mother’s Day blessings to you! Join us!
Pastor Candy Thomas
Christ Congregational United Church of Christ