Prophetic witness–speaking truth to power–is at the very core of my ministry. I have a powerful prophetic call, and the many strands of my identity weave together into a powerful prophetic voice. I long to lead a congregation that is ready to be the change it wants to see in the world.
As an ecologist, I understand interdependence in a very deep way. This means that I know sustainability requires justice, and that all justice issues are interconnected. Racism, poverty, heterosexism, militarism, domestic violence, ecological destruction—all of these oppressions are rooted in fear, and they are all interwoven together. They all have one common solution, and that is love: love for all people, love for all our relations, love for our living blue planet. Sustainability and justice boil down to living from love rather than fear. As Cornel West has said, “Justice is what love looks like in public.”
My prophetic witness is grounded in love. It is grounded in the Spirit of Life which rises up in our hearts in response to the beauty and the brokenness of this world, and moves us to celebrate the beauty by healing the brokenness.
Here is what Rev. Kate Lore, former Social Justice Minister at FUCP, had to say about my anti-racism ministry in Portland:
“Leisa provided great wisdom and insight regarding the complex (and evil) nature of racism. Her sermon on race was brilliant. It was challenging yet steeped in a deep love and respect for people; it was prophetic yet free from harsh criticism or self-righteous indignation…Leisa demonstrated her wisdom and sensitivity about race, ethnicity and multiculturalism on a daily basis. Leisa marched on City Hall and attended rallies at black churches in town. She lovingly comforted a mother who had just lost a son to racial violence. Throughout it all, Leisa reached across racial lines with the compassion and agility that only comes with deep reflection and training.” –Rev. Kate Lore
Here are some prophetic sermons that are not found elsewhere on my website (plus two that are, just to separate them out for you.)
Confronting Evil Sermon
Confronting Evil OOW
The Arc of the Universe Sermon (Please note that this sermon is not for public consumption, as the references have not been properly cited.)
Soul Repair and the Moral Injury of War
Breaking the Heart to Open It Sermon
Breaking the Heart to Open It OOW
Here are links to various public witness events or the remarks I made at them:
Video of Climate Justice Public Witness Event, at General Assembly in Portland, OR, 2015. I wrote the script for the sections between dignitaries, including the ceremonies, both indoor and outdoor, and opened and closed the event.
Transgender Day of Remembrance remarks
Prayer for Courage to Save the Children (I was invited to give a prayer at an anti-gun violence event in Southern California.)