Following is a report from the road:
I just finished a three-day stretch through Iowa and Nebraska with the “merry band of common do-gooders”, and it was an absolute delight! Doug likes to welcome the audience as “the salt of the earth”, but that appellation applies even more specifically to Team VCG: what a ridiculously wonderful and inspiring group of people—desperately and selflessly trying to save America and the world from the looming darkness of authoritarianism and “Me First”.
My first takeaway is a heightened appreciation of the incredible talent which has been recruited to barnstorm the country. Doug is Ringmaster Extraordinaire. Christy’s warm presence makes everyone immediately feel that they belong. The music is ridiculous: Reverend Vince is an iconic foundation for the whole show, and Meah is a total revelation: a rock star in both voice and personality. The rotating speaker line-up, in baseball parlance, is simply Murderers’ Row: on Thursday night in Sioux City alone we were lit up by Frank Schaeffer, Brian McLaren, Mark Scandrette, and Nadia Bolz-Weber.
The emotional peak from my little stint with the Common Good Circus came in Sioux Center, a tiny little Calvinist-college town way off the beaten track. At midday on Friday we were booked for a “pop-up” event into a cafe called The Fruited Plain, which claims the best coffee in Iowa. All indications were that it would be a quiet, folksy affair. Not even close! The back of the coffee shop opened into a nightclub, a bunch of students from Dordt College showed up, and a rock ‘n roll show broke out! It was an hour of intensity that I will long treasure. Undoubtedly the most energetic political/spiritual rally Sioux Center has ever seen.
At every stop, as we engaged with people and told our story, a fresh theme emerged from those not self-identifying as Christians: “We didn’t know that people like you existed—and we’re delighted and encouraged that not all of Christianity has abandoned the Way of Jesus!” This phenomenon was most colorfully characterized in a Reddit post that Frank received: “It’s a bus full of unicorns!” Yes, but unicorns intent on losing their rarity—and making “Jesus-follower with no privilege” a “thing”.
Three days just wasn’t enough, so I’m already relishing my return to the Tour for the “Big-As-Texas” Texas Leg starting Thursday evening in Dallas. For those who haven’t yet experienced a Vote Common Good event, I can’t recommend it any more highly. As Meah sings in her amazing original song, “I Hope”, that’s exactly what it will give you. And right now, there’s nothing we need more!
Please catch up with the Vote Common Good Tour in your town and do what you can to spread the word!
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Thanks, Frank for doing the hard work of engaging voters and potential voters while non-voters just pontificate on what is wrong with the government. I admire your passion and strength. All the best. Cheers.