Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
-Nelson Mandela, 1994 Inaugural Speech
Today was the baptism of James Richard and Brittany Opal Murphy-Williams, children of Anna Murphy and Wendy Williams.
As one walked into the sanctuary, there was a metal bucket filled with water and two pitchers. Each person ladled water from the bucket into a pitcher. One pitcher came from Anna’s great-grandmother and one from Wendy’s grandmother. Before the baptism, the water from both pitchers was poured into the baptismal fount.
The deacon read something at the beginning, and she was in a wheelchair. Watching the scene, with these mentally disabled people who come every week sitting in front of me, i thought this was such a great picture of inclusivity. Well except for the fact that the church is entirely white. Sigh.
Anna read something talking a little about the process of adopting James and Brittany, and i cried.
James and Brittany look about 6 or so. They’re siblings, and were adopted about 3 years ago. I’m used to infant baptisms, so it was interesting to see one like this because the children were actually participants, saying “We do” to the question of “Do you desire to be baptized into the faith and family of Jesus Christ.” Then they were led up and down the aisles and shook everyone’s hands. There was something of a receiving line after the service, which was interesting because the last time i was a part of a receiving line was at Paul’s memorial service.
The cares and concerns at the end of the service included prayers for the people of Afghanistan, and Iraq. Specific mention was made of Jane’s family. Again i cried. I realized today that while at United, it’s always “we pray for our president, for the United Nations, etc.” here it’s “we pray for the people of these countries, we pray that we will not have to go to war, we pray for the soldiers who will be sent over there.” It’s much more of a focus on all the people, on the “little people,” as well as a pacifistic tone. Every Sunday i find more and more reasons why i really like this church.
I really really liked Kelly’s homily on “Enough,” but i really have to go write a paper now. I will write about that later, though. A friend’s father died today, and then i called my mother and talked for an hour or two. Much as i love being active and researching and everything i do here at college, i think i need to take some meditative time every day.