When I was a child trying to make sense of the destruction in and of the world, I was afraid and deeply sorrowful. This informed how I interacted with the world around me, cautiously but lovingly. With the personal growth I have experienced in my life so far I have gradually felt less panic and fear, but no less emotionally connected to the earth and its beings. I was able to discover the mission of my ministry – building resilient, strong, beautiful, affirming community where I can. That hope and cultivation of the Beloved Community is the saving message I found hiding behind the armor of fear. It’s found in “Choose to Bless the World” by Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker:
More, the choice will draw you into community,
The endeavor shared,
The heritage passed on,
The companionship of struggle,
The importance of keeping faith,
The life of ritual and praise,
The comfort of human friendship,
The company of earth
The chorus of life welcoming you.
None of us alone can save the world.
Together – that is another possibility waiting.
I first heard Rev. Dr. Parker speak in Phoenix at the 2012 General Assembly graduation ceremony for the UU Justice Ministry of California’s yearlong Spiritual Activist Leadership Training program. Participants worked to incorporate spirituality and social justice as two pieces of a larger whole. Throughout most of this program, I was skeptical of the connection and resisted being involved with theological reflection and worship.
It was during Rev. Dr. Parker’s talk that something clicked between my heart and mind. Ministry was a path requiring reflection; it was a connecting discipline that allowed the clergyperson to find experts and lift their work up as important but it didn’t require expertise in every single field. After the ceremony, I talked with the other participants and my informal mentors at General Assembly (Rev. David was one of these people). All the people I talked with affirmed that I belonged in seminary and eventually in ministry. So, I applied to Starr King.
I now know I am a mystic, a theist and someone who sees no other way to live than to do justice, love mercy and journey humbly with God. The God I believe in is all-gendered, all-feeling, all-loving. This God is not a wish-granter or a judge but a companion and co-creator who celebrates life and love. This God believes in us and longs for us to answer the call of Love, as often as Love reaches out.