Baltimore Bound

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader and Nobel Prize winner, greets thousands of admirers on a motorcade tour up North Gay Street on October 31, 1964. (Paul Hutchins/Baltimore Sun)

In a few hours, a lovely congregant will pick me up and drive me about an hour to Union Terminal–a place where my mother once worked in a clothing store during  he years when Mom and Dad were scrambling for any jobs they could find–and at 3 am, the train will depart for Baltimore. Sixteen hours later, I will be greeted by two dear friends and fellow pastors, who are putting me up for the week. I’m very excited, especially because I have a sleeper car and plan to read and rest during the trip. I really look forward to giving my friends long, loving hugs.

I’m excited to rejoin my cohort compatriots, and my outstanding mentor, Rev. Dr. C. Anthony Hunt. Each day I will be studying in a different church, as everyone is from Baltimore except me. This is a new city for me, and while I was an avid watcher of The Corner and The Wire, I am looking forward to spending time in the city itself with pastors who live and minister in and around the city. I know that movies about Detroit don’t always capture the city I knew and loved as a child, a city I still love and for whom I pray resurrection.

I’m also eager to discuss the amazing reading we have completed this semester! In truth, I have been champing at the bit to confront the material, to hear what my colleagues have to say, and to prayerfully vision how Dr. King’s insights and ministry models might translate to my context, my life, my journey with God.

So I solicit prayers and well wishes. I will update as I can, but I plan to spend as much time in the moment as possible that I have plenty of memories upon which to reflect when I return.

But I do know this: things are going to change. I feel myself going deeper into the ministry I am called to undertake. Slowly, I am glimpsing what Beloved Community might look like here in Yellow Springs, a process that will involve me seeking out collaborators and asking permission to learn more about what others do. It will involve leading when called, and providing support when not. It will involve a fierce commitment to community as an organizing and existential principle.

In all things love, friends, and love in all things.

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