Yesterday morning I had the privilege of discussing my mission to Grahamstown at the Adult Education Forum of St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, through Skype.
I grew up in the St. Ambrose parish under the rectorships of the Revs. Arthur Calloway, Dr. Michael Battle, and Kym Lucas. Key proponents of how I came to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they have all since left, and our new Rector, the Rev. JeMonde Taylor is a dynamic and alive brother of the cloth. From the moment that I told him I'd be a missionary he has been there along the way offering prayers, helping me solicit donors, and offering much needed advice and encouragement. So, when he invited me to speak at the Adult Education Forum, I was stoked. I would get to share the Good News, and see the wonderful faces of people that reared me, loved me, and inspired me pursue a call to Holy Orders.
Speaking with my family at St. Ambrose solidified this mission as a communal effort. And I must say, it is a beautiful thing to know that I am not alone, that there is an entire community supporting me, praying for me, and just as anxious as I am to engage with the folks of Grahamstown.
I got to see my mommy!!! And my beautiful Aunt, Ms. Wanda Kay, was also in attendance. I heard the voices of church mother's like the incomparable Norma Haywood. And met new parishioners like Mr. Henderson and his children. When Carolyn Winters asked a question I was immediately taken back to my days of serving on the altar as an acolyte, and how formative that was in my love of the church. And when Harold Mallette spoke up I thought of all of those summers that he took the St. Ambrose youth to the North Carolina coastline, or to museums--always reminding us that the blood of mystics and martyrs run through the veins of black folk.
All that I had an opportunity to speak to felt as uplifted as I did, and I could sense a great deal of love and support.
There's an old African proverb that reminded me of yesterday's forum, "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."