Our MISSION: “Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in [my] way of life.” (Mt. 28:19 – The Message)
Our Acts of Faith Community provides community organizing around spiritual needs and interests.
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Mountaintops and Margins

I grew up in a family that believed in Jesus’ teachings of equality AND equity. African-Americans were as welcome in our home as anyone NOT African-American. My father taught the great Black composer, William Dawson of the Tuskegee Institute (now University) some of his first conducting lessons (I have an autographed copy of his ground-breaking work, the Negro Folk Symphony recorded by the NBC Symphony under Stokowski). And though my mother wasn’t a “cry-er,” I remember the day that Dr. King was assassinated because I watched my mother weep for our nation much as I imagine Jesus wept over Jerusalem.

My life was forever shaped by studying at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (and choosing, in those days, to graduate with a Crozer hood because that was the school that MLK graduated from). I was blessed to be challenged by colleagues and professors there (including Dr. Kenneth “Snuffy” Smith who was my Christian Ethics professor and who had been Dr. King’s C.E. prof as well. In fact, Martin called him to help in his discernment about going to Memphis where he KNEW he would be killed). That is where my nascent understanding of what had NOT yet been accomplished by the Civil Rights movement and legislation of the 1960’s grew and became a bedrock for my life.

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So it was with deep reverence and commitment that I embraced the children of color who came to me as an urban pastor and humbly agreed to become mother to my daughter and namesake, Carly Fae. I am a PROUD ally, even as I claim the tremendous amount of work yet to be done to achieve the vision of the Resurrected Christ and our siblings Martin, Malcolm, Sojourner, Dorothy (Height), Shirley (Chisolm) and others.

Our nation can only be truly what it is meant to be when we accept other peoples’ truth as TRUTH even if it is not our truth or experience. Who am I to judge the validity of others’ life experiences? And until we are all free … none of us is truly free.

We who believe that the Christ Spirit moves among us have our work cut out for us. We who believe in the power of the Resurrection to bring new life and new possibilities must step up in these days of false idols and blasphemers who would keep us in bondage to the evil of institutionalized racism.

I encourage you to read Jim Wallis’ “The False White Gospel” as well as Jon Meacham’s “The Soul of America” if you have not already done so.

So, on this 56th anniversary of the “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech, it is time for us to once again raise OUR voices — vote our values — and not allow others to define who we are any longer. It is time for us to take the next step and move this great nation forward to BE the “promised land.” We are the UNITED States of America, children of the Most High God who is the Creator of ALL people — not just Christians … not just people with beige skin like mine … not just those who speak English.

You want to know where Jesus is these days? Look to the margins of society — it’s where he has always been and always will be.