July 29, 2021
Last week, I found myself in front of Wesley Wofford’s 9-foot Harriet Tubman “Journey to Freedom” sculpture, currently on display in the Harriet Tubman Museum of Cape May, New Jersey. A mix of emotions arose as I took in the piece: a strong sense of longing, sorrow, humor, as well as an aspiration reminiscent of the feeling that comes when I listen to William Grant Still’s symphony #1 “Afro-American.” In the midst of these emotions, I found myself contemplating the Beloved Community that we strive to create at Pendle Hill in the context of Tubman’s affirmation that “God’s time is always near.”
Pendle Hill has a long-held commitment to creating space for nonviolence, contemplation, justice, and experiential learning as practical components of our daily rhythm toward transforming lives and bringing about the Beloved Community.
Over the past eighteen months, we have worked to creatively and justly address the many challenges presented to us by COVID while continuing our long-held offerings, like diverse learning opportunities and our (now hybrid) daily worship. As we continue responding to our institutional call to radical hospitality amid our society’s polarization and social disruption, we often encounter moments of tension, created by the complex interplay of the personal, communal, institutional, and societal. How can we act, in these layered moments, to best bring about the Beloved Community? Often, it is by sinking into God’s time that we may access the companionship, patience, determination, trust, and support necessary to act with the full welcome to which we aspire.
At Pendle Hill, we are additionally blessed by having friends like you as companions in these efforts in your own lives. Let us continue in this work independently and in support of one another as we face our many transitions. Change is possible. We must persist in the radically faithful act of trusting, loving, and repeatedly re-creating our aspirations for the Beloved Community. Let us, together, as clay workers steer the potter’s wheel, strive to make possible a new society that bends toward justice and peace in the great arc of God’s time.
Let us dream, pray, and act together as we recognize that God’s time is already within us.