This week I had the opportunity to attend a conference up at Green Lake. Somehow, I still don’t know how, but somehow in the almost fifteen years I’ve spent in American Baptist circles, I’ve never been to Green Lake. But this week was the Radical. Redeemed. Ready Conference celebrating 40 years of American Baptist Women in Ministry. This conference was originally scheduled for 2020 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the founding of American Baptist Women in Ministry organization in 1980, but like most things in 2020, had to be postponed.
I’ve enjoyed walking these grounds that so many of you have memories of and have given thanks for the stories some of you have shared with me. The day before I left to come up here, I met with Elinor Vincent’s family to plan her memorial service and they mentioned how she wanted to ashes scattered off the beautiful point by the conference center.
I’ve reconnected with old friends and met some new ones. I’ve prayed and pondered what it means to answer God’s call or step out into the unknown. And I’ve given thanks for what it’s meant to me to be part of such a rich tradition and have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us in this good and holy work.
I’ve heard amazing sermons and even more amazing stories of women who faithfully and steadfastly followed God’s call to proclaim the Good News and minister to God’s people despite the many hardships, obstacles, and naysayers. The picture above is the view along the Memory Walk by the marker that honoring the women who have served as president of our denomination.
Even though I’ve never been to Green Lake before, I feel the threads of nostalgia weaving their way through my experience here. I feel their tingling presence as I begin preparing for my own upcoming departure from a place that has been a home and haven for me for the past five years. It’s been good to be here. It’s been good to be in this place steeped in history and rich with memories. I give thanks for places like this that hold and honor our history while helping us envision the future moving forward.
We took a group photo this afternoon to complement the one you see below taken 40 years ago. I’m so honored to part of this history and so very grateful for the communities and congregations that welcome and support the ministerial gifts of all God’s people. Thank you, Community Baptist Church, for answering God’s call!