“Commit to Listen: The Dawn” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

June 20th,2019 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

Happy Pride Month! I know we are well into the month of June but I am a firm believer that you can’t celebrate the goodness of God’s diverse creation too much, and Pride celebrates just that, God’s diverse goodness. I hope that you will join us this Sunday for our Pronoun Language Lab where we will practice using gender expansive pronouns in every day conversation so that our church and our lives are a safe place for all people we encounter. Plus, it will be great practice for the following Sunday’s Pride March where we will celebrate 50 years since Stonewall, a movement led by LGBTQIA+ gender expansive people of color. Talk about God at work! We hope you will join us for our two amazing Sunday’s of Pride focused events and witness God at work with the people of The Park.

I am not a morning person. I find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep and have since I was a kid. So, getting up in the morning has always been challenging for me. But as an adult there are a few days in the year where getting up early is important. Those days I make sure I get up really early to greet the dawn. There is nothing quite like witnessing the birth of a new day. I can’t say exactly what it is, but the dawn has a distinct feeling. I find it has a distinct smell, looks a bit hazy no matter the cloud coverage, and there is a humming-maybe a yawn- the world makes at dawn. I love it. It reminds me of being created which is exactly what our scripture is sharing with us today.  This week we have scriptures from two places in the bible. In the Hebrew Bible from the Book of Genesis and from Paul’s letter to Galatians. Both deal with what it means to be created. Let’s read these two incredible pieces together.

 “3 Then God said, “Light: Be!” and light was. 4 God saw that light was good, and God separated light from darkness. 5 God called the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” Evening came, and morning followed—the first day…

Then God said, “Earth: bring forth all kinds of living soul—cattle, things that crawl, and wild animals of all kinds!” So it was: 25 God made all kinds of wild animals, and cattle, and everything that crawls on the ground, and God saw that this was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, to be like us. Let them be stewards of the fish in the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, the wild animals, and everything that crawls on the ground.”
27 Humankind was created as God’s reflection:
in the divine image God created them;
female and male, God made them.” (Gen 1:3-5, 24-27, ILB)

“26 Each one of you is a child of God because of your faith in Christ Jesus. 27 All of you who have been baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 In Christ there is no Jew or Greek, slave or citizen, male or female. All are one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:26-28, ILB)

For me, Pride Sunday is one of the days I love to greet the dawn. When God created the world, calling the light “day” and the darkness “night,” God also created the dusk and the dawn. For me Pride is where the people of the day and night, the dusk and dawn and every time in between are celebrated. When we say, every person on this earth is created and counted as one in Christ Jesus as we read in Galatians. So often we think of things in binary terms, but God through creation, and Christ’s resurrection continues to call us beyond the binary and into vibrant liminal spaces.

So, each Pride I experience God’s creative and expansive love in a tangible form by greeting the dawn and giving thanks for a world that calls us to see God as all things instead of one thing. A God beyond binary in all things. A God of the dawn. A God for all people. Happy Pride Month.

Shalom Y’all,
Rev. Stephanie

A quick prayer for your week: God, of the day and night, dusk and dawn, I am grateful to be your creation.