Rev. Wesley Dorr is the Deacon at United Church of Rogers Park. Deacon Wes works with the Violence Prevention Committee and is on the Leadership Council for ONE. Deacon Wes’ ministry revolves around community involvement and social justice. Here is his reflection on the NPA Conference in DC.
Going to NPA was an amazing learning opportunity as well as a way to build relationships with new people from our area and all over the country. Marching with the Nurse’s Union was one of the highlights of the trip for me. It was my first time to visit Washington D.C. and it was incredible feeling to see the first sights by marching in solidarity with the Nurse’s Union surrounding the Robin Hood Tax.
My time at NPA showed me how different tactics were used in actions and how 500 people can move together as one unit with a common goal. NPA definitely stretched me out of my comfort zone which was a good thing because it showed me how actions that I am not comfortable with work.
The last day we were in D.C. was one of the most powerful moments that I have experienced in ministry. We loaded into the yellow school buses again and went to the Capitol building to support immigration reform. As clergy I was standing close enough to hear the words from a variety of different immigrants and their stories were courageous and tearful. It truly put a human face to the issue that was captured by the media that was there that day. I was also amazed how well everyone followed directions inside the Capitol building. When it was time to be quiet we were quiet and no one was arrested. I also enjoyed the town hall type meeting where a local business owner got to express how his company was proud to pay taxes because it is a common benefit for all and wanted to know why large corporations do not do the same.
Overall NPA was a great experience and I look forward to using what I have learned to help support O.N.E.