Category Archives: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

An act of commitment

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Staff and friends of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) gathered this morning at the Presbyterian Center for a chapel service in response to racism and white supremacy in Charlottesville and other places. (An archived live stream of the service is available.)

My colleague and friend, José Luis Casal, director of World Mission, helped celebrate communion.

During the Words of Institution, José Luis observed that, “The bodies of all who have been victims of injustice, the victims of rejection, the victims of violence…are the body of Jesus Christ.”

He reminded us that to come to the table and to partake of the bread and the cup is to commit ourselves personally to stand on the side of love with Jesus and to work against racism, white supremacy, every form of systemic oppression, violence and all that harms any of God’s precious children.

Silently, I shouted “Amen” as loudly as I could.

And I wondered—when the Presbyterian Center or any church or worshipping community gathers to celebrate communion, isn’t that organization making a similar statement? The act of gathering at Christ’s table is, for the community as well, a radical act of commitment to Jesus and to justice, to love and to grace.

May it be so. Amen.

See you along the Trail.

Thanks to my friend and colleague Marissa Galván who posted some of José Luis’s word and inspired me to write this post. The image appeared on the cover of the worship bulletin this morning. View the bulletin for the service

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Friends, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Worship

Purple flowers and purple art, 2017 Big Tent 3

bigtent3

8 July 2017
Washington University in Saint Louis
St. Louis, Missouri

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Purple flowers, 2017 Big Tent 2

WashUStLou2

8 July 2017
Washington University in Saint Louis
St. Louis, Missouri

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Purple flowers, 2017 Big Tent 1

PurpleflowersWashingtonUniversityStLouis

8 July 2017
Washington University in Saint Louis
St. Louis, Missouri

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Filed under Photo, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Carolyn Doggett, Presente!

Sad news arrived today in the Forest Hill Church (Presbyterian) newsletter:

The office learned that Carolyn Doggett, former member, Deacon and Elder, died on July 21, 2017. 

The Lake Erie Girl Scout Council employed Carolyn. But her true passion lay in working for racial justice. Carolyn knew herself to be a beloved child of God. As such, she understood that all people are precious to God and all people should be treated accordingly.

Carolyn played a key role in the work to disrupt institutional racism and seek racial equity in the Presbytery of the Western Reserve. She challenged the status quo with a fierce, gentle passion.

A dignified, graceful, persistent, disruptive resistor, Carolyn taught me much and touched my soul.

I give thanks for her life and faith and love and witness. I give thanks that she was my co-worker, colleague, and friend. I pray for all who grieve at her death.

In the Communion of Saints, Carolyn goes with us in the struggle for justice and the march for peace.

Thanks be to God for Carolyn Doggett!

Presente!

See you along the Trail.

P.S. – I wish I had a photo to share. Not for myself, Carolyn is forever present in my mind’s eye and in my heart, but for you who did not know her.

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Filed under Antiracism, Friends, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Purple not flowers, celebrating a friend

We gathered today at the Presbyterian Center to celebrate and honor a friend. Joe Edmiston works in the payroll office for the Presbyterian Mission Agency. He has been with the church for over 20 years. Everyone knows him, most of us appreciate his wry sense of humor. He regularly did countdowns of the number of days to other significant days: so many days to the next holiday, for example.

Joe recently received a diagnosis of stage IV pancreatic cancer.

In shock and hope, his colleagues and friends put on purple today and gathered in the atrium at the Presbyterian Center to wish him a Happy Birthday. He’s in our hearts and thoughts and prayers.

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Collage by Melody Smith

 

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Filed under Friends, Louisville, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Uncategorized

Big Tent 2017: Race, Reconciliation, Reformation — Grace Ji-Sun Kim

Hope to see you at the Big Tent where I will be working with my friend Grace Ji-Sun Kim.

 

I look forwarding to participating at the Big Tent, held at Washington University, St. Louis, July 6 -8th, 2017. I will be co-leading a Workshop with Rev. Mark Koenig, “Disrupting Racism: Building the Intercultural Community”

via Big Tent 2017: Race, Reconciliation, Reformation — Grace Ji-Sun Kim

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Filed under Antiracism, Friends, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)