As is likely true for many others, yesterday was one of the most memorable days that I have ever experienced in church. Our guest preacher and forum speaker, Ruby Sales, had such a presence! As compelling as her words were, for me the physical gestures and the piercing gaze that accompanied them were equally as powerful as she asked us hard questions like… “Will you leave the table and go to your Alabama?” The proclamation, the preaching, the hymnody, the spirit, the communion… nothing was out of place. Amen Amen! I can’t imagine anyone being present at St. Alban’s yesterday and not thinking, “I’m so glad to be a part of this community,” or “What an honor to have been part of this,” or “God, through the church, is calling me to a deeper kind of living, a deeper kind of life.”
Thank you, Ruby, Cheryl and Nancy, thanks to all who made yesterday’s service so powerful, thanks to all who attended and thanks for a parish that allows and invites the prophetic witness to speak to our condition and compels us to live more authentically into our common call as Christians.
One more thing. Early this morning I got a text message from our Parish Verger, Ron Hicks. The message Ron sent to the recipients was a suggestion that we stop by a newsstand and pick up one (or several) copies of today’s Washington Post. I did so immediately and before leaving the store saw the amazing photograph of Ruby preaching at St. Alban’s, accompanied by an article telling Ruby’s (and Jonathan Daniel’s) story. I hurried home and sent a photo of the front page of today’s Metro section to Ruby and her partner, Cheryl Blankenship. Within a few minutes Cheryl wrote back: “He got the title wrong… only God is her Savior.”
Only God is her Savior… Only God is Ruby’s Sale’s Savior, only God is Jonathan Daniel’s Savior, Julian Bond’s Savior, and Thomas Coleman’s. Only yours. Only mine. Only God.
p.s. As part of our monthly Mustard Seed offering at St. Alban’s Church we will be collecting donations to Ruby’s Atlanta based non-profit, The SpiritHouse Project, through the end of the month of August. If you’d like to contribute send a check to St. Alban’s Church, 3001 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington DC, 20016, and please write SpiritHouse on the memo line.
Here’s a link to the SpiritHouse website: http://www.spirithouseproject.org/
Here’s a link to the online version of today’s Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/black-civil-rights-activist-recalls-white-ally-who-took-a-shotgun-blast-for-her/2015/08/16/4e562dd8-3b74-11e5-8e98-115a3cf7d7ae_story.html