Since 1999 I have packed up my boxes and moved approximately 20 times. Some were fairly routine moves: from home to college x 4 years. Other moves felt more substantial: driving across the country to Texas after college to discover a new state and city on my own, out of the nest.
This October marks the first time I have lived in one place for more than 3 years since high school.
It was a hard transition, this last move to the Northeast. Will and I arrived here from South Texas, where I moved after seminary to live closer to Will, where we worshiped with a bilingual Mennonite congregation that taught me so much about love, where we got married on a balmy January day, where I assisted as doula at the birth of a beautiful girl who turns 4 this week, where we gardened with friends who ate and played and laughed together. It may have been only 2.5 years but those roots went deep.
I arrived to White Plains excited to begin work as the Cross-Cultural Network Coordinator for Hudson River Presbytery and wishing we could recreate our South Texas community overnight. But, of course, we couldn’t. The soil is different it here, it grows new and different relationships and at its own pace. This year, as I walk around town and talk to people from White Plains Presbyterian and the surrounding community or visit with friends from throughout the Presbytery, I am excited to notice the roots are going deeper. I’ve known people over seasons in their life (and mine) at this point. I’ve seen small ideas grow and take shape. I know the late-blooming sycamore tree in our front yard and when it put on leaves late in May long after the other trees, I thought, “Right on time.”
If you’ve been following this semi-(in)active blog for some time, you’ll notice it looks different and has a new title, “Cross-Cultural Catalyst”, which is the new title for my position moving forward in Hudson River Presbytery. The Catalyst position is about growing deep roots.
As Catalyst, I’ll spend half of my week in grounded ministry at White Plains Presbyterian Church, a diverse growing congregation, as we strengthen relationships with each other and the broader community through English as Second Language classes, the Groundswell Community Garden space, the Lineage Farm Community Supported Agriculture program, and the deepening friendships between the three congregations sharing space in the Presbyterian church building.
The other half of my week will be spent gleaning and sharing the stories/models/mishaps/revelations from my time in White Plains to inspire community-growing work throughout the Presbytery. Alongside the Cross-Cultural Network, I’ll encourage and learn from models and practices for cross-cultural community building that exist or emerge in this region. Together with the Presbytery leadership, I’ll continue the work of growing to be a Presbytery that lives into its commitment to unity and diversity.
I’m putting down roots and noticing just how good it feels not to be packing boxes…for the third year in a row!!!