A word of prayer

In the spirit of prayer 

More of you and less of me Lord grant me patience for kids and parents.help me to be happy for others & secure enough in my own time & space to be ok with where I am. Give me courage to grow and keep pressing to see what you have for me. Thanks for everything that has been and what is to come .In the name of the one who is higher than I, Amen

AMM

New ideasđź’ˇ

Currently reading The Pretty One by Keah Brown exploring how as a person with a disability I am much more than just a diagnosis. While yes disability is part of me but it is not my entirety.  What’s new well I’m learning what married life is like. One year down and more to come. No children yet…exploring various avenues including adoption. One move down and waiting to see what happens next . This virus has taken a toll on so much. Not here to complain because I and many of my loved ones still have their health and livelihoods.
A thought that recently piqued my interest is along the lines of maternal child health and disability. Many of us have read the data and seen the disparities facing moms and moms to be of color. Just this past week I heard about the tragedy of Sha’Asia Washington and her death would could’ve been prevented had health professionals cared for her and her families needs.  I’m wondering about black women and other women of color with disability and how mothers intersect. How can doulas and other birth workers be supportive of women of color with disabilities. How often are we even ever given access to these services and how is culturally relevant care realistic in this day and time. What are the statics are their bitthworkers, midwives doulas and other professionals who offer care to women of color with disabilities? How does faith intersect with motherhood and disability?  Until next time

What’s up…

It’s been a minute since I wrote an update. Recently I spoke at Creation and the City of God Consultation sponsored by Global Ministries on the topic of inclusion. Inclusion is one of those hot topics within the United Methodist Church these days because it can be defined in so many ways. Defined in terms of race, gender, ability and sexuality. All of these are labels that to often we frequently use it as a way to categorize and seperate others to our liking although Christ’s teachings tell us the oposite. It is not the role of the church to exclude but rather to include people regardless of the label a person uses to define identity and location within the church or the world as parish throughout the globe.

In other news in terms of what’s up I listened to a sermon today about healing as part of sermon series categorized as living resurrection  using Mark 5 v. 24-34 as the text. The sermon was preached by Rev. Amy Roon, one of the pastors at University Congregational United Church of Christ in Seattle, Washington. The sermon reminded me of a conversation I recently had with my fiance about just what is missing from the church as we know it. We discussed hospitality, just what that looks like, and who can and should spread The Word of Christ and lead congregations. We talked about ableism and apologies. Too often its not an apology that is needed but rather courage to step out to be oneself. To live out the resurrection is that healing is outward love not that we should opress others because they are different from those in the crowd but instead we should embrace all despite their labels or identity.

How do you define hospitality?  How do you live out the resurrection? Is hospitality evident when everyone in your congregation looks the same? Is hospitality evident when congregants come as they are? What about how guests feel when visiting? Do you accept testimonies different than your own?   What about when someone steps forward with boldness such as the woman mentioned in the text?

The same questions come to light when attending conferences. What is the panel like? Does the keynote’s message truly align with the topic at hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shifting, Belonging, Finding Space

Spring, a time of new birth new horizons remains missing in action. Spring where are you? It’s time for growth, time for rebirth and newness. Grateful during this time of stalled spring I’m grateful for listening ears, space to dream, space to share parts of my calling. While I write to today listening to prophetic resistance podcast and profane faith. Grateful for the joy of baptism this morning and also the joy of birth announcements and of new life among my circle of classmates and colleagues.

 

 

Intersections and being open

So intersections in this day and age are unavoidable despite the choices we are sometimes are forced to make  for our own safety and sanity.But every once and a while the opportunity comes along that you can be free and open to share and just be. Thankful for the joy of the chance to be and laugh and talk and smile.

Advent thoughts

A prayerful reflection
Next steps. New chapters. Black & brown death happening , not valued enough. Disabled bodies devalued the cost deemed too high, women & men cry out me too. No place is sacred or safe. Health care snatched away. Disarray in the White House, ignorance that is Trump. Love exists but at what cost. We continue to wait this Advent season. Waiting for hope, Waiting for peace. Waiting for joy .

God help our nation and those around the globe. Heal our lands as fires rage. Send healing balms for our hearts & tongues. Let white supremacy,misogyny & the other isms die rather than continue destroying lives. Lord we are watching and waiting this Advent season. In the name of the one you sent I pray, Amen

On your dash….

This entry is inspired in part by a sermon I heard a few weeks ago preached by Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Sr. at  the Proctor Institute held annually at Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee.

Aug 7 at 11:06 AM

When you take away the labels and the layers , intersections boils down to identity and how are you making use of your time on the dash. The dash is the space between birth and death. Life is fragile. So make it count.  What about those days when it seems everything is stuck in neutral or it seems call backs serve no real purpose other than to say your overqualified or just not what we are looking for. The voices who speak to say there’s essentially nothing wrong with you so just teach. Well news flash today’s K 12 classrooms aren’t what they used to be. Now back to identity, layers and what that has to do with the dash.The time we have on the dash is precious. Learning that sometimes its better not to settle and shifting takes longer than I’d like. 

As many of you know I’ve previously spoken about the challenge of society making a person choose a particular identity to subscribe to for example in some circles it is simplest to an African-American although the weight that label carries is indeed a heavy one despite the many people who say “I don’t see color” or it doesn’t matter in this day and time.  Or the gift that some of us that some of us have so graciously embraced as people of color.

Ecclesiastes chapter 3 opens with the famous poem of activities and their appropriate seasons along with the reminder that their is a season for everything. It doesn’t explicitly talk about gender in context to a hierarchy between the two but rather no one task is better or worse than another  the two are equal.  So if  there is nothing new under the sun and activities are egalitarian by nature then these intersections of race, disability and gender are undeniable.

Although with scripture is evident in backing up this claim we live in a modern society which strives to make us choose. In the realm of disability I’ve been one who’s been told well you don’t look disabled mind you last time I checked all disabilities aren’t the same nor do you know my story or walked in my shoes.

In terms of gender and being female in this world my time spent at a women’s college has added to my confidence in this regard. The struggle in terms of pay  how is it that although many of us work twice as hard  we continue to be paid less and judged on a different standard her hair is too kinky, she is too thin, she is to thick, why is she wearing that. On the dash gender reminds me of time and expectations. It brings to mind thoughts of things have I yet to accomplish. Goals in terms of relationship, education ( Pleasant surprise my GPA at graduation from my masters in special education was higher than I thought. #untententionalscholar) and career.

Brings to mind thoughts of the Church and nonprofit circles where advancement is possible but at what cost. A reminder of an elderly woman who I met some years ago who informed me I couldn’t both a Rev. and Dr.  because women don’t do that…..last I checked women have been granted full clergy rights since 1956 in the United Methodist Church. As it currently stands  14 women currently serve as bishop. In addition Rev. Leontine T.C. Kelly was elected the first African-American Women bishop in 1984, troubling it took so long but none the less she persisted. And last year the stained glass ceiling was shattered a little more when 4 African-American women were elected as bishop.  My own calling as it it stands presently is not to serve as bishop but rather through social justice and education within the local church and beyond helping future clergy and others. Still discerning what exactly that looks like.

 

In terms of disability it is part of who I am but not its entirety. Tenacity is the word that comes to mind when I think about my own life and experience as a person with cerebral palsy. Hasn’t been an easy journey but all the more reason to keep pressing forward. In terms of the dash its fuel to the fire to beat the odds.

 

In terms of blackness on the dash black girl magic is here to stay! Black brilliance! Black Excellence! Its time we as black people affirm our excellence, affirm our brilliance and our excellence. How you may wonder? Vote, teach, be active in your community and learn your history. Use your skills to help others, uplift children and hold them to high standards.  Children learn so much not by what we say but by what we do. You may never know that you are the only Christ or role model some child or other adult may encounter so live accordingly.

 

Guess that’s it for now. Be well. Live well on your dash. Remember life is precious!

Thoughts on waiting: an Advent reflection

In this season of Advent we people of faith, followers of Christ are reminded of Mary & Joseph’s wait to reach their destination despite its intended mission, the wait for their marriage, the wait for a place to lay their heads while on their journey and the impending birth of Christ. In today’s world many remain in waiting still. We wait for change, we pray for peace, we pray for safety in Aleppo, cease fire in our streets, sanctity for black and brown bodies. Grateful for those who comfort those who mourn in this waiting period, those who bring the word & all who receive it. We pray that children remain children whose innocence is sacred. Take care of yourself in this time of waiting for it permeates all you encounter. Watch your energy. Be patient. Know your worth. Love self. Love others. Nurture your gifts and use them for your benefit and that of others.

This year has been a roller coaster to say the least  so as we look back remember that we made it still here so there must be still work left to do. Hopeful for what’s next. Joyful for simple triumphs, Love through it all and keep going anyhow. Too far to quit, too many lives to impact. Keep grinding , keep reading, keep praying , keep listening God’s not done yet.

 

Self Care Check in

Resting on Sunday morning before things get busy- the live stream begins, lesson planning, grocery shopping & a mountain of laundry. I having a cup of hot tea while reading Otis Moss III’s Blue Note Preaching in a Post Soul World…. Have you checked in with yourself lately ? If not I encourage you to do so.