From Rev. Benjamin Perry’s New York home he can hear the daily sirens of ambulances arriving at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. He, like many, are coping with the significant loss being experienced within this pandemic. Perry shares the importance of emotional honesty, not just for clergy members, but all humans during this pivotal moment of being human.
Right now, one of the most important things we need to do is just be honest with our grief and understand that grief is a prayer.Rev. Benjamin Perry
Rev. Perry and I spent about an hour and a half talking between two screens: one located in Atlanta Ga and his in New York. The rhythm of our conversation felt natural and we both seemed to volley between deep breaths, tears, hope, and the sustaining truth that we need each other right now. Systems that have been in place for much longer than COVID19 are failing us and we are now all unable to turn away from the horror of what such failures do in the wake of a pandemic that isn’t elitist in who it touches. With the weight of anxiety, death, and grief, there is still hope and a gospel of love breaking through. But, I’ll let Ben tell you about that in this episode.
Rev. Benjamin Perry is Minister of Outreach and Media Strategy at Middle Collegiate Church in New York City. Previously he worked as Deputy Director of Communications and Marketing at Union Theological Seminary, and as an editor at Time Inc.
An award-winning writer, his work focuses on the intersection of religion and politics. His byline has appeared in outlets like Slate, The Huffington Post, Sojourners, Bustle and Motherboard and he has appeared on MSNBC, Al Jazeera, and NY1. He holds a degree in psychology from SUNY Geneseo and a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter @FaithfullyBP.
Episode Aired March 30