I wish I could take language
And daub and soothe and cool
Where fever blisters and burns,
Where fever turns yourself against you.
I wish I could take language
And heal the words that were the wounds
You have no names for.
In this past year I have:
made art and made mistakes,
designed accessible worship for many while excluding others unknowingly,
been a coward and been brave,
felt frustration and felt elation,
said just the right thing in the right moment in just the right way and then didn’t say anything when I should have or said too much or something unkind when I should have just stayed silent,
noticed and paid attention to many overlooked people while turning a blind eye or deaf ear towards others.
I committed acts of goodwill as well as harm.
Thanks be to God for mercy and grace that covers the whole mixed bag, or as a wise friend recently reminded me, “You are already forgiven, redeemed and made new.”
"From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."
- The Gospel of John 1:16
*Leading the design team for worship at the All Staff Gathering and Call Retreat during the 200th year celebration of missions through International Ministries ABC-USA, I felt in sync with my artistic giftings in caring for the souls of and collaborating with my colleagues.
*A trip to Mt. Saint Helens in WA state where I witnessed in nature the slow, but indomitable power of life being reborn after destruction in the new growth 30+ years after its eruption.
*New creativity, skills and relationships gained from working with these amazing organizations: First Aid Arts (formerly named ArtsAftercare), Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship, BuildABridge International, Training for Change, and International Christian Alliance on Prostitution. I continue to be amazed at the common threads in story and purpose that we are discovering together.
*An uncomfortable, yet healing, “Undoing Racism in the US” workshop that helped me to see my own racism and personal benefit from an unjust system. I recognize that I don’t know what I don’t know. I learned that when racial misunderstandings occur, regardless of intent, if harm is done, I need to accept responsibility and acknowledge pain. Reconciliation and repair of relationship is possible when we are humble enough to listen, honor and hold each other’s stories without justifying our own or dismissing the experience of the other. I still have lots to learn, but I am committed to the work over the long haul.
*Finally, I received grace in a number of impromptu as well as planned mentoring conversations with young adult women who are exploring God’s call to service and ministry on their lives. As my wise friend the Rev. Marlene Dell from Limon, Costa Rica once said, “We are meant to mid-wife dreams for one another.“
"The whole of creation is standing on tip toe to see the full revelation of the children of God" -Romans 8:16.
February: First Aid Arts Healing Arts Toolkit Training and workweek at Deborah’s House in Tijuana, Mexico with Emmaus House from Olympia, WA
March: Bolivia: Arts in Ministry training with House of Hope ministries in Cochabamba and visits with IM colleagues in Santa Cruz.
April: IM missionary collaboration on adaptation of the Healing Arts Toolkit with AMOS in Managua, Nicaragua
Keynote and Bible study leader for ABW Women’s Conference in Richland, WA
May: Participate in the International Training of Conflict Transformation Trainers with Dan and Sharon Buttry in Kiev, Ukraine.
Facilitate an arts-based resiliency workshop at the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship Colleagues Conference in Spokane, WA
Facilitate art making and speak at the Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church’s Women Retreat
June: BuildABridge’s Annual Arts Institute in Philadelphia, PA
Training for Change’s Advanced Training of Trainers in Philadelphia, PA
ABC-USA Mission Summit in Overland Park, KS
July: Baptist World Alliance Gathering in Durban, South Africa
September: Creativity and Empowerment workshops for women with CICEM in Oaxaca, Mexico
October: Follow-up with AMOS in Managua, Nicaragua
November: Training with Talita Girls Club leadership in Temuco, Chile
As I always say, “We hold our plans lightly, trusting that God’s plans are best for us.” Thank you for being one of the graces in my life,