Listening to Our Elders: Following Role Models in Our Calling
June 28, 2016
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by Bonnie Nicholas
I had the wonderful privilege last week of attending the Sojourner’s Summit in Washington DC. It was inspiring to hear from so many amazing social justice activists who are really making a difference in the world. There were honored “elders” at the Summit as well as younger activists, who all shared from their wealth of varied experience. I would have loved to spend weeks with each one; there was so much to learn from each of them.
One morning I attended a women’s breakfast featuring the “elder” Reverend Dr. Yvonne Delk. In her allotted time of only 15 minutes, she summarized a lifetime of wisdom into a few key principles. She began by talking about her mother, who she said was a praying woman who believed that all things were possible with God. She noted that her mother prayed over her each day by name as she went out. This was a great gift, Rev. Delk shared, because, “I know who I am, I know my name.” Below are some of Rev. Delk’s principles:
Each one of Rev. Delk’s principles applies to my Safe Church calling, and perhaps to your calling as well. I’ve come to this place, as director of Safe Church Ministry, by following my heart, my passion, and my pain. Indeed there have been times where this work has been heartbreaking. And I too have learned the difference between location and destination, often reminding myself and others that we are not in heaven yet – but that’s where we’re headed. Though the arc of history may be bent toward justice, it’s a long arc. I’m so thankful for my elders, for those who have come before, paving the way, and for those who currently give me courage to continue the journey. My prayer is for the Lord to continue the work of Safe Church long after I’m gone, and I ask for wisdom in my work now to help make that a reality.
Who are your elders? What lessons have you learned from them that sustain you on your life and faith journey?
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Bonnie, God's sustaining blessing and care to you and those around you who continue to lead us in this vital ministry of being Safe Churches.
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