To Seek Healing & Hold the Line

Sarah Holst is an artist and a student United Theological Seminary and is an applicant with the Roman Catholic Womanpriests: a worldwide movement seeking gender justice in the Catholic Church. Sarah represented people of faith at the Hold the Line Rally & March to Stop Line 3. 

“And the only way that love can stop the wars, is if we fight for each other, and the only power that we’ve got to win, we’ve got to build it together.” – Katherine Parent

I was asked here today to bring a faith-leader perspective. And I will do so as a White Christian Settler, as the member of an “invasive species”. My ancestors came to this place from Czechoslovakia, Bohemia, and Germany in the early 1900s.  They were looking for land that could sustain them, and water to give them life.

And my people did this riding on racist, dehumanizing decrees such as the Doctrine of Discovery.  Today, I stand in the knowledge of my history, the memory of those who came before me alive in my blood, and I seek healing for them and their violent actions.

I am standing against Line 3 as a Roman Catholic, as a faith-leader, seeking to reclaim a decolonized Christianity that takes responsibility and seeks reparations for the gruesome realities of the Doctrine of Discovery and the long history between the European Christian Church and genocide and ecocide.  I work for a transformed, changed way of being a guest on this land by joining my voice with the outcry of indigenous leaders and putting my heart and body on the side of healing and hope.

I do so as a Disciple of Jesus, an indigenous Palestinian man with brown skin, who worked as a co-healer with the water and the mud.

Can my White Christian Settler siblings renew faith in this embodied, healing God? We say we believe in resurrection, so can we, with humility, admit our mistakes and resurrect from our own ashes?

Our chance begins today as we stand together to stop Line 3 and demand a clean up of the old corridor. And our chances will continue on… Christians have a story of the Holy Spirit descending from heaven in the form of a dove.  Today, I am hoping we can learn God’s ways from the wild geese.  Let us work in tandem, holding up our indigenous siblings as they powerfully and prayerfully lead, and lifting our own voices to call out, again and again and again, lending the power of our wings and lungs to the battle to protect the water, healthy, healed communities and the right to a sacred, connected way of life.