The national holiday set aside to commemorate the human rights ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. struck me as an audacious reminder of where we have been as a society and where we have endless opportunities to go in the name of God’s love and justice. Moreover, it reminded me, in the words of the Most Rev. Desmond M. Tutu of South Africa, that God has a dream and that there is hope for our future as people of faith.
This I find to be most encouraging as Formation at St. Peter’s prepares to host a four-week series called “Reconciliation: God’s Mission, Our Opportunity” on Sundays, February 2, 9, 16, and 23 at 9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall Forum. Last fall, the parish began conversations about the realities of the sin of racism that continue to mar our culture. Drawing upon the life and teachings of Jesus in the Gospels, this conversation series to be facilitated by clergy and lay leaders, including some of our senior high youth, will invite us into a deeper level of discipleship, especially as we face conflict, change, and challenge in our hearts, our homes, and our neighborhoods.
From the writings of Archbishop Tutu: Dear Child of God, before we can become God’s partners, we must know what God wants for us. “I have a dream,” God says. “Please help Me to realize it. It is a dream of a world whose ugliness and squalor and poverty, its war and hostility, its greed and harsh competitiveness, its alienation and disharmony are changed into their glorious counterparts, when there will be more laughter, joy, and peace, where there will be justice and goodness and compassion and love and caring and sharing. I have a dream that swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, that My children will know that they are members of one family, the human family, God’s family, My family. In God’s family, there are no outsiders. All are insiders….all belong.”
Regardless of your comfort level regarding conversations about race, I hope that you will bring the gift of yourself and your story into this important conversation about how God’s Dream might be experienced through life at St. Peter’s.
– The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector