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Break Camp and Advance! by Reverend Hurmon Hamilton

“When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on. Go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all the neighboring regions—the Jordan Valley, the hill country, the western foothills, the Negev, and the coastal plain. Go to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, and all the way to the great Euphrates River. Look, I am giving all this land to you! Deuteronomy 1:6-8a (New Living Translation)

Sunday afternoon September 9, 2007, sixty-five Greater Boston Interfaith Organization clergy and lay leaders gathered at the Roxbury Presbyterian Church USA to kick-off GBIO’s Fall Healthcare Outreach and Enrollment Campaign. In a sense, our gathering was in response to the call, a Divine Call for us to “break camp” and “move on”. We have returned from our various summer resting places, full of Spirit, energy, and excitement - ready to join with others across the state in reaching out to the uninsured and encouraging them to enroll in Commonwealth Care or Commonwealth Choice before the deadline of our new individual mandate - January 1, 2008.

During this high-energy training and breaking camp session, GBIO leaders were treated with some excellent teaching about how to help people evaluate their options. There was a testimony from someone recently enrolled in Commonwealth Care as to the importance of our work. And there were resource packets distributed so that everyone has the written information they need to complete their job. But perhaps, most important, was the unbroken flow of inspiration and encouragement that called us to break camp, move on, advance knowing that this outreach work is important and blessed in the eyes of God.

This final point was underscored eloquently by Rev. Patrick Gray, from the Church of the Advent. Rev. Gray provided the closing remarks for the evening. I offer here those remarks to all across our Commonwealth, currently engaged and preparing to advance, in the words of the text above, (to the hill country …. and to all the neighboring regions—the western foothills) and beyond in the sacred work of bringing quality health care to the sick and afflicted:

“Let's keep turning our caring into action. Let's give our love some hands and feet. Because in my tradition, God gave his love hands and feet. And no matter what your tradition, my guess is that God desires to use your hands and feet, your hearts and voices. So on this day let us renew our desire to care for those God cares so much about, let us show God's love for his people not only in our words, but with all we’ve got, because love changes everything, God's love changes everything. So in the spirit of God's love, in the spirit of the action of God's people for the life of each other, for the life of the world, I offer this blessing from my own tradition: Go in peace. Remember the poor. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly and sisterly love. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always. Amen. “

Rev. Hurmon E. Hamilton, Jr
Senior Pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church USA
Chairman and CEO of Roxbury Presbyterian Church Social Impact Center, Inc.
President of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization

This program aired on September 11, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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