Dear Religious Leaders:
You have known for a long time the emptiness in your buildings and the flow of life outside that leaves dust in silent rooms.
You have observed the passing traffic, the anxious rush to satisfy needs, while standing in vacant parking lots.
You have seen, long before the pandemic, some connection between your emptiness and the world’s longing.
Now you see in a screen dimly. Your people gather in smaller numbers, and you observe some kind of shift that is more than adjustment and more than temporary. Your gut tells you your people are letting go. And you know in the silence that you long to let go, too.
Now you know in part: While your faith community changes, your neighbors need your resources. They need your space. For temporary shelter. For permanent affordable housing. For affordable child care. For learning pods. For community gardens. For new ventures that address inequities.
It may seem strange, but your neighbors need you to let go of your space.
Now you know in part. Someday you will know fully how your space was never for you alone.
Someday you will know fully that your letting go is for your own healing and for the well-being of others.
Someday you will know fully that your letting go is not vacating space but repurposing it for the world you always desired.
So let us talk about your desire. And let us look together for fulfillment through another way.
Peace and blessings,
Daniel Pryfogle is cofounder and CEO of Sympara.