There is no bigger power than to love. That is what we are all here on earth to do. Now is the time for all of us to show — in our words, our actions and our lives — what love really looks like.
The Love Rising effort began in June of 2020 as the COVID pandemic was raging across the country and many people were experiencing feelings of despair and isolation. Pam Leibring, originator of the Love Rising Community Day of Prayer & Meditation, was looking for something positive to come from those very challenging days. Pam explains her initial motivation this way: "When I listened to the news, it made my heart hurt. Pandemic, unrest, unemployment, racial tension, injustice … there was just so much pain. I felt like I had to do something. What do many of us do when we’re experiencing great sadness? We pray. So I talked to my priest, Reverend Randi Hicks Rowe, who is the rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Burt. We discussed a prayer vigil. I brought the idea to other church members, and the idea blossomed from there.”
Love Rising is not just about thoughtful consideration of challenges we’re facing at local and national levels. It's also about learning how to approach potentially difficult conversations with our neighbors from a position of love, asking questions and listening to each other to find common ground. Focusing efforts and actions on a single day – from dawn to dusk – may renew or create connections between the local clergy and community leaders who can help lead conversations and facilitate future efforts for positive change.
“Many of us believe in the power of prayer. But you don’t need to be a religious person to be part of this day,” explains Pam. She emphasizes that this effort is not owned by a single church, or even by faith communities. “If you have love for your neighbors, love for your community, please join us. Set aside an hour, or whatever time you have. Join in person or join from the peace of your own home.”
What exactly is "Love Rising"? It’s a day to reflect on our place within our community, whether through prayer or meditation or readings.
We want to express appreciation for what we have, and to engage in honest conversation with our neighbors about how to make our community a more welcoming place to call home.
There are different ways to get involved, from the most basic – committing to spend an hour of the day in quiet reflection, either consecutive minutes or spread throughout; to attending a service or an event led by community faith leaders; to joining a community conversation.
There are themed activities for kids, and signs available to post in your yard to show your support for Love Rising.
It was started by people who attend church together, but you don’t have to be religious or attend any church to participate.
All are welcome.
A Community Day of Reflection & Conversation in New York’s Niagara & Erie Counties July 15th, Sunrise to Sunset