Go out and train everyone you meet,
far and near, in this way of life.

A Meerkat Moment

(February 22, 2018)

I. Am. Exhausted. The last week or ten days have been emotionally draining, the work load has been huge. And I know I’m not the only one feeling this way.

The shootings in Parkland, FL — the students’ outrage and mobilization — has brought about both pride and tears from me. There is hope for the nation when I see the next generation of activists being born from tragedy, loss, and trauma. Yet what I would give to never have them have to experience this.

On a much smaller (and less significant) scale, South is two-and-a-half weeks into the new blended identity with South. The Nominating Committee has been elected and has done their job. We have a slate of officers to present at the Annual Meeting which is this Sunday.

Yet it is hardly a typical Annual Meeting … the business (with the exception of electing officers) has already been taken care of. On Sunday we just get to party and celebrate the year past. We get to honor all the work that has been done and the vision that God is unfolding in our midst.

Exciting. And exhausting.

This week is also the first Mission Trip for most of our youth. For some, it’s the first time they’ve slept overnight somewhere else other than their homes. Pastor Katrina has taken them to the new ROC SALT Mission Center in the South Wedge for a half-week experience along with kids from a couple of other churches. I was there last night to play piano for their evening worship and it was thrilling to see almost 30 young people grappling with the issues of poverty and food insecurity. Lines of race, socio-economic status, different school districts, and more were transcended and kids were just kids.

From my perspective, having two of my former “mentees” leading the thing — Katrina, our Associate Pastor, and Laura Bachmann who was our seminary intern last year — was thrilling and gratifying. To have it taking place in a building where I spent almost 20 years of my life … during seminary and then afterward as the Minister of Music and Parish Associate … was awesome. I got to be a person to help bridge the former existence of that place from Calvary St. Andrew’s church to the ROC SALT Mission Center.

My mind kept going to those people who had influenced and shaped MY ministry and who are no longer living … Lily Joules, Margaret Stoltman, Norma Kennedy, Kay Burnett, the Barley’s, and more. In their own way, through their tireless support of that location and the food ministry in that neighborhood, they were present last night as we all sang a song about God delighting when we are creators of justice and joy.

And then in the midst of all this, I was honored to be invited back to a local talk radio show on the Public Broadcasting station, WXXI. Connections with Evan Dawson did a show that had me pretty nervous going into it, but which ended up thrilling me to be a part of. I’ll make sure to put the link online in a minute.

I feel like a meerkat …
I’m so focuseed on what I’m doing every day – so in the moment – that every once in a while when I stick my head up to see where I am, I’m always AMAZED at how far we’ve come, how much I’ve grown, and what the world looks like from my new perspective.

This is definitely a meerkat moment.

And now it’s time to go back to work and get some rest.


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