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Communal Lament

A group of people providing support for one another. Blog title reads, "Communal Lament."

I’m still so grateful for the ways in which people expressed their lamentations on Sunday. It wasn’t a “fun” Sunday, but it was an important one for me. It can be hard to be vulnerable and it can be hard to share deep wells of honesty, but I am touched by the trust you all showed in being willing to lament.

I said this on Sunday, but I will say it again here and loudly, IF YOU EVER NEED TO TALK, PLEASE REACH OUT TO ME. I’m not just here on Sundays and you are not just a part of my life on Sundays. I’m here to listen and talk.

While the responses varied from person to person, there was one notable (yet unsurprising) theme that stood out to me as a communal need. The offering box had 34 sheets of lament in it by the end of worship. Of those 34, 15 of them contained a lamentation for our current cultural mood – misuse of power, injustice, divisiveness, climate change, safety, cruelty. Many of these included lamentation for the world that we’re leaving our children and grandchildren.

Friends, this should not be normal. It is real, but it should not be this prevalent.

What’s going on that this is something that is so heavy on all of our hearts (I’m including myself here)? This is not ok. It is not ok that one of our deepest laments is that powerful people be held to account, use their power wisely, think towards the future, care about other people, tell the truth, act like an adult. It’s not ok. It is not a fair burden to put on all of us, to have us walking around with this in our hearts.

The coming months will not be better. At least, things outside will likely not improve (and I consider myself an optimist…). Something needs to change, though. Because living like this is not sustainable. Here’s where the optimist in me comes out: this is the circumstance for which community exists.

I’m currently at a loss on how we can find ways to reduce this anticipatory anxiety, but I know I have to do something; for me and for this faith community that we care so deeply about. Maybe I’ll have some cracker-jack ideas next week. But maybe you have an idea. These are the times when we lean on one another. And even if we don’t find the ways to mitigate the lamentations of a world in chaos at the very least we will find solace in the lamenting community.


Rev. Jeff Fox-Kline


Come and share, connect, and support one another at Twelve Corners Presbyterian Church. We're located at 1200 S. Winton Road in Rochester, NY in the town of Brighton. We gather on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. for worship in the sanctuary and online. If you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns you'd like to share, you're welcome to call our office at 585-244-8585 or send an email through our contact form.


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