This is a very important time for our organization. It is a time of tremendous flux
and change, as we saw in the national elections and the extraordinary changes
in Congress. And while 2020 and 2021 are showing themselves to be full of
portent, we also know from the scientific community that we are at the beginning
of a monumental decade, in which we need to institute major changes in order to
maintain the habitability of this planet with which we have been entrusted.
This is, simply, an important moment. And I believe Faith Action can play a very
Because there is no other organization that can speak with a spiritual and moral
voice on the impending issues of our day. Policy discussions are spiral-bound by
rationality, data, and clear argument. And then they come crashing into the walls
of established power and entrenched interests, locked (as they are now) behind
the doors of a vaulted building on Beretania Street that is closed to the public.
Sometimes the only force which can pierce those gates is the clarion call of truth,
of right, of moral and spiritual authority. Confronted with the simple, irreducible
fact of moral righteousness, we are all equal – the banker and the pauper, the
developer and the houseless, the retiree and the newborn inheriting an unstable
and changing world.
I’ve shared with many of you the frustration I felt as a middle-schooler at a church
retreat in Kalihi. We had watched a graphic, heart-wrenching video about poverty
in the Global South. After the presentation ended, the leader of the discussion
said the proper response, when confronted by the evidence of injustice, is to
pray. I said no – we must take action. This is the organization I needed 30 years
ago, and I’m glad that it – that we – are here, today.