Some Louder Advice for the New Year

Date posted: Sunday 27 December 2020

If you were around children and youth during the holiday season or even during the last few months as schools were doing online and hybrid learning, those young folks were seemingly always present. Perhaps they were in the way, too. And most certainly they were making more noise than you appreciated.


We’ve all been there at some time or other, especially now. And more than likely, you’ve used that all too familiar admonition, “Use your indoor voice!” As a retired librarian, I am often guilty of wanting to add “Shhhh” to conversations that get way too loud, even adult conversations.


What if, however, as we look toward 2021, we think about this in a different way. What if, taking seriously the ELCA Social Message of 2020 “Government and Civic Engagement in the United States: Discipleship in a Democracy,” we decided it was time for us to “Use Our Outdoor Voices”?


Each of us has both a Minnesota representative and senator as well as our Governor Walz. We each have two Minnesota senators at the federal level as well as one representative, a newly elected President and what will be newly appointed chairs of committees which connect to hunger issues. That is quite a number of people, accountable to us as citizens, for their work and votes on behalf of those who live with hunger every day in our country.


What if we resolved during 2021 that we would monthly contact at least one of our Minnesota and federal legislators about a hunger issue? That would take us a short amount of time and would at most cost us the 55 cents for a postage stamp. We could make the contact by e-mail or text. We could even make a phone call.


The year ahead will not be an easy one but will be even worse for those who live with food insecurity. It is more important than ever that we use our outdoor voices and speak up with and on behalf of others for the good of all of us who share God’s good world here in the United States and abroad.


-Vernita Kennen

Incarnation, Shoreview


P.S. Click here to find the contact information for your elected officials.