On my first day, there were cupcakes.
We had a celebratory lunch with staff, representatives of the Board and search committee at midday. It made my heart glad that we were at table together, breaking bread, building community from the very beginning. My loved ones will tell you of my fondness for the sacraments. It may not have been consecrated bread and fruit of the vine, but the Holy was present, beginning to make strangers into friends, and companions in the Gospel.
It seems odd, when the world is in pain and our phones buzz with terrible breaking news, to lead with cupcakes. The times are challenging. Our attentiveness to peace with justice continues to be deeply necessary. This e-News contains information about responses to violence of all sorts: an annual meeting workshop on relating to the scourge of gun violence, #metoo and breaking the silence about sexual violence, and a National Council of Churches initiative on truth and racial justice.
And yet, for hard and holy work, you need sustenance.
That lunch table next hosted the Stewardship of Public Life Commission as they met to discuss priorities for 2018. At the end, I was asked to pray us out. Since I had not expected to do so, I relied on the words that came to me in the moment. Thank you, Holy Spirit, who always delivers! As I was leaving the building, one of the members thanked me for offering at the meeting table a prayer which made room for her, and her faith. I had not known her, or her story. But the One who brought us together made it a space of possibility, beyond what either of us had dreamed when we walked in that day.
It is good to be here; to be about the work of the Council. We have 70 years of ministry to celebrate. We have the next years to explore. I give thanks for the expansive vision of the One who brought us together, for the inspiration of a mission which brings us together on an ongoing basis, and for the challenge of getting to know the many gifts you all bring to this work.
Hello, church! Let us explore some holy possibilities together.
Peace and Blessings,
Rev. Kerri Parker
PS: They were red velvet cupcakes, just in case you were wondering.