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St. Francis once exhorted his followers to “preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” United Church people tend to be pretty good about being good news through actions, but there are times when we need to use words. Without actions, words have no power or integrity. But without words our actions are ambiguous. Words are important. There can be no faithful witness to the God of love without a willingness to speak. And there are three keys to speaking about the God of love. The first is that it has to be in dialogue rather than monologue. We have to be willing to listen and learn as much as to speak and share. The second is that it has to be an act of genuine love and care, not a means of filling the pews or building our own esteem. The third is that it is an act of witness.