Weekly Rector's Note: The World We Want to Live In
A few nights ago as I was pulling into our driveway, I saw that a few of our neighbors had stopped to talk while they were out walking their dogs. The group was comprised of people of different ages, races, abilities. One person was new to the neighborhood while others had been there forever. These impromptu gatherings don’t happen that often where we live, but it made me think, this is the kind of neighborhood I want to live in.
It’s the kind of world I want to live in, too. One that is diverse, friendly, and where people are connected. It’s extraordinary and mundane all at the same time. As people of faith, in our efforts to enact social justice, it can be easy to forget that this is what it’s for. The simple grace of getting to live together well and from our places of uniqueness.
That’s why I appreciate the insight that Rev. Dr. Leroy Barber, our guest preacher for this Sunday, shared with me recently. When parishioner Bill Habel and I met with him, and asked what our church could do around racial justice and reconciliation and to move closer to the kind of world we want to live in, he didn’t recommend a workshop or give us a bunch of things to go out and do. He suggested we start by getting neighbors together or hosting events to spotlight some of the great black owned business and talent that we have in Portland and then see what emerges. It’s a very relational approach and one that sounded like a lot of fun.
This approach is part of what Leroy does as the Executive Director of The Voices Project, which gathers leaders of color who work in the arts, business, church, media, politics and education to explore and step into their role as cultural influencers to bring about change. He is also the Director of Innovation for an Engaged Church serving the Greater NW area of the United Methodist Church.
I’m excited to hear Leroy’s message for us this Sunday at the 9:00 and 10:15 service and hope that it may spark ideas and excitement for possibilities in our community. If you would like to stay after the 10:15 service for a discussion with Leroy about ways that All Saints can collaborate in this kind of work, please join us.
Blessings to you this weekend. I pray you encounter some of those wonderful moments where the world you hope for and the world you experience are one and the same.
Picture from Christianity Today