Hope is not always as easy as inspirational words, scriptures, and songs would make it seem. It’s very comfortable to connect with those. But hope can also be very difficult. Having to believe, and maintain hope in the face of trouble and ambiguity is a draining emotional and spiritual challenge. The gospel calls us to both – joyful hope, and hard-work hope. We are now going to be living in times never before experienced. For some – our brothers who are Muslim, Latino, gay, black, undocumented, poor, and all sisters everywhere – the times may not just be unpredictable, they will be threatening. Every week we sing, “Make us one, Lord … Holy Spirit make us one; Let your Love flow so the world will know we are one in you.” We need to be one, to stand by one another in this hard season (and thanks to Cameron and Jarv for the beautiful rendition of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.”) But even more, we need to stand up for one another, and against bigotry and bullying. So we took simple safety pins, prayed over them, and committed to wear them as a symbol to any and all that we care, that we will stand by you, sit with you, speak out for you, walk you home.