WITNESS FOR JUSTICE #1027 An Ode to the Washington Office

Madison Mayhew

Justice and Peace Policy Fellow

After two years and two months, my time with the United Church of Christ’s office in Washington, DC, is coming to a close.

The Washington Office is a special place. When it’s open and we’re not navigating a pandemic, you can find a hand-poured cup of coffee from our office administrator extraordinaire, hear thoughtful conversations about current events, and maybe even find the remnants of birthday silly string on an officemate’s wall.

The Washington Office holds special people: colleagues who are dedicated and passionate about their work, which is important and sacred. Growing up in a fundamentalist church, I was unfamiliar with the phrase “witness for justice” until I began my work for the UCC. When I think of that phrase now, I’ll think of my Washington Office colleagues and the great work they do. Each one carries a light for justice issues they care about deeply. They are witnesses not only by the nature of their roles, but also in their everyday lives.

The Washington Office’s halls and rooms are hallowed ground. Whether sharing in celebration or heartache, colleagues listen and take time to make space for whatever feelings may be present. Little did I know this office, and the people it held, would provide such deep respite and encouragement during deep political tumultuousness and a year unlike anything I’ve ever known.

The Washington Office has reminded me of the value of our moral imagination and the role people of faith play in shaping the public voice. In many ways, working with my colleagues has been a healing process, helping me rebuild the harmful theology of my youth into something more inclusive and oriented in justice, a true vision of protecting the dignity and worth of all humans. Because of this work, I feel sustained to keep dreaming a healed world is possible.

To Sandy, Mike, Katie, Jessi and SuAnne, thank you. Cheering you on in all you do.

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