I am currently attending the New Community Conference at Camp Allen, Navasota, Texas.   Sponsored by the Episcopal Church Ethnic Ministries Offices, the New Community Clergy and Lay Conference is a gathering of Asian, Black, Latino/Hispanic and Native American clergy and lay leaders that providess a safe place to explore mission in ethnic ministries, share resources, best practices, hopes and dreams, needs and concerns, suffering and joy in the context of being the New Community.  I share a video of our morning worship singing!

The Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton, Rector of Trinity, Everett is here with me representing our diocese.  And many of you will remember the Rev. Irene Tanabe, now of Hawaii, but really of Olympia!!!  And our very own Heidi Kim, member of St. Mark’s Cathedral and Staff Officer for Racial Reconciliation for the Presiding Bishop’s staff also here.

Today we began with prayer and with a fabulous keynote by the Rev. Dr. Tommie Walker of the Diocese of Alabama.  He reminded me of a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that I had long forgotten.  “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  I have loved being present with these fine people who share this church of ours but who so often feel they are marginalized and forgotten.  They have not been silent about things that matter, and I have been blessed by their courage to do so.  They have shared some mighty stories here.  This afternoon as we shared in our “Holy Huddle” small groups one of the men in my group said, “I have learned today that only by sharing our stories, together, can we begin to create a new story, together.”  We are living in a time when this is more important than ever.   Share our stories, so we can create a new story, together.