How many times have you recited something in church because you know it verbatim,
but you just didn’t stop and think about what you are actually saying? What does this
phrase, hymn, reading actually mean? What does it mean to me today?
I was baptized as a young child. I was twelve. Did I really know what I was ‘agreeing’
to? I think I did at the time, but as I have recently begun to renew my Baptismal Vows,
the words and their meaning have made more of an impact on me. The impact has
been greater in these past two years than ever before. And I’m actually listening and
hearing the words. Are you?
Celebrant: Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as
People: I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the
dignity of every human being?
People: I will, with God’s help.
This year I turned 51. While some things in life feel much easier, others things are
pulling at my heart, tugging at my need to make a tiny but hopefully large change in our
world and I am also more willing and eager to get myself into ‘good trouble’. Our new
ministry at St. Catherine’s, All God’s Children, has been that support system for me to
uphold, support and act on my Baptismal Vow that made me stop and think more deeply
than ever before.
Now to the uncomfortable part. Racism. I never thought I was racist. I started educating
myself and doing some reading and some internal work and quickly learned that I have
a lot of work to do. I’m just beginning. And while I will only speak for myself, it doesn’t
matter how you were raised, what your parents thought/think, what state you grew up in
or who you currently work with. You probably have work to do as well.
Back in August, our tiny but mighty group presented this new ministry to the Vestry and
it was voted on and approved. A few weeks later we held a Town Hall to present our
thoughts, missions, plans and to invite others to walk with us as we do this incredibly
important work, STRIVING FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE AMONG ALL PEOPLE AND
RESPECTING THE DIGNITY OF EVERY HUMAN BEING.
If you were not able to attend the Town Hall, you can listen to it here. (The video quality
is not great, but it’s the words spoken that are most important.)
In addition, a few of us recorded a testimonial to share with others. Why are we doing
this work? I had been thinking about how I would best answer this question for weeks,
and while the 45 year old me would have properly set up the lighting, my hair and
maybe mascara, the 51 year old me doesn’t care, and so the thoughts that came clear
to me were while I was meditating in my kayak on a still, quiet morning on the lake.
You are invited to listen to the words of all of us.
You are invited to consider the work that you feel led to do.
You are invited to join us in this work once in a while, when you feel called and you are
certainly invited to join us in January for a new Sunday Adult Formation group to hold
one another accountable and supported in incredibly difficult and wonderful
conversations. I cannot say enough about how these conversations I have had in the
past two years have changed my heart and my mind in serving and loving God. Feel
free to contact me directly if you would like to have a conversation.
I am planning on getting into more Good Trouble. Come with me.
Peace and Love,