February 28, 2014 

It has been four weeks since we began our journey together. I have been struck with the fact that my ‘beginnings’ in this presbytery coincide with the celebration of Black History/Heritage Month. As I gathered with saints to celebrate this rich heritage at Cedar Park Presbyterian Church and again at the gathering of the Southeast Region this week, I was reminded of the courage of men and women who took their faith so seriously that they were willing to lay down their lives. It is a faithfulness that goes beyond an intellectual affirmation. It is a faithfulness embodied in a witness that has heart and commitment to make right that which is broken between God and humanity; and between humanity and humanity. That spirit clearly continues to be part of our DNA; our woven tapestry – if you will.

earth_from_space_lightIn reflecting on the presence of this spirit as I have now visited with the Northeast Region, the Southeast Region and the Northwest Region, one image comes to mind. It is the image of an astronaut who has taken orbit into space and is able to look back on the planet from which she comes. The distance from her planet allows her to see what she cannot see from up close. I resonated with a quote from the lunar module pilot of Apollo 14 who was the sixth person to walk on the moon. Looking back at earth, Astronaut Edgar Mitchell said “my view of our planet was a glimpse of divinity.” I feel a bit like him – “my view of our presbytery is a glimpse of God’s abundant grace and divinity.”

I am touched by the wisdom, the articulation, the openness, the commitment, the faithfulness you bring to the table. I am above all, humbled by the opportunity to walk with such a people. I am becoming intimately aware of the gifts you bring to this presbytery and are already bringing to me. But perhaps the gift I bring to you is of equal value. Perhaps my gift is to simply reflect on who you are and what you are doing for the sake of the Gospel. How often do we lose sight of the beauty of the world around us because we are so focused on the problem before us? Perhaps I am called, among many other things, to name the beauty for who you are in all your complexity – and you are indeed a complex and beautiful tapestry. In remembering that beauty, I believe, we will find encouragement to live into the challenges and opportunities before us.


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