One "conversation" has stuck in my head. It began in a session where we were voting on resolutions to send on to the larger church so that our denomination might support something that we value as United Methodists. In this case, it was about food and farming.
The conversation started around a small table of dedicated folks called "Board of Church and Society." With seven or so hard working people around that table they did their best to put a proposal together to stand up for small farms, food safety, children's health, and creation in light of the Farm Bill that will be looked at again by the US government.
However, around that first table, voices were missing. Particularly, the voices of the farmers.
At first, the response to this was anger from many of the farmers in our midst. But as I watched and listened, anger shifted to claiming a responsibility to make it better. One farmer spent hours of time to add to the first voices in order to get a better result. The document was changed detail by detail in order to reach a better solution.
The reason this conversation has stuck with me is because Wesley students are entering a similar one and finding inspiration from the cooperation between farmers and environmentalists in opposing new coal plants in Texas. The film "Fighting Goliath" that portrays this advocacy work will be shown by Wesley Club on the UC Campus this fall.
Maybe this is the conversation that God will use to make a difference in the Central Valley. Maybe we will have a better result for all that we value- humans and beasts alike.