My church celebrates communion on the first Sunday of every month. It’s a special time of reflection and prayer, confession and renewal.
Today’s was especially meaningful because we were joined by a very special guest who brought us a ministry reflection on Matthew 28, and shared about the work in Balama, Liberia which our church supports.
In keeping with The New Baptist Covenant’s invitation for churches to make July 5,2015 Freedom from Racism Sunday, our pastoral prayer time was a bidding prayer- a facilitated time of lifting up specific hurts and injustices in our world.
Our communion, as our pastor introduced it, was led by “a white man from West Texas and a black man from West Africa.”
Jessy Togbadoya was our honored guest today and he brought us a good word about mission work not being limited to the foreign field- we can be missionaries in our own communities.
Jessy and his 2 delightful daughters, Greg, Jan and I had lunch at Ted’s after church. I got a veggie burger because I think bison and cows are totes adorbs.
After lunch I was reflecting to myself on the way home, thinking about communion and the people of Liberia who are starting businesses through Jessy’s micro loan project. I thought about the importance of having a Freedom from Racism Sunday and the grief-inducing truth of its necessity.
I thought about Charleston and the burning churches, and I thought about my mentor Gwen and the first church to invest in me as a minister. I got my ministry start in a black church. Cornerstone was the first real church I ever preached for. I have that sermon on CD and I found it the other day.
I loved and still love Cornerstone. I can tell you to this day even though it was about 3 years ago, exactly how it felt to stand behind that pulpit to preach in real life for the very first time.
The head nods, the “amens” and “my my mys” thrilled my soul, the receptiveness was wonderful and the affirmation I received during my 2 years at Cornerstone was unbelievably nurturing and helped me gain confidence as a minister and as a preacher.
Cornerstone has worked very hard for everything they have. They’ve worked very hard to become who they are, and I would be so angry if anything happened to them or the building that they own free and clear just because this country has a white superiority problem.
I wish it would stop. I wish racism would die, that hate would fizzle out, that love would be the norm.
May it be so.