I’m gonna sit at the Welcome Table/I’m gonna sit at the Welcome Table one of these days Hallelujah!/I’m gonna sit at the Welcome Table/I’m gonna sit at the Welcome Table one of these days!
Neena Mabe passed away this morning after a battle with cancer. I knew Neena through Green Street, mostly as she sat in the balcony with her husband, daughter and other family trying to stay away from the germs that come with the passing of the peace as a full-body contact sport. But I’ll never forget the air hugs and kisses she gave and requested and the wonderful, wonderful light that shone when she was around.
Neena had been a part of Green Street long before I ever got there and was the catalyst for our becoming a Reconciling Congregation. In some sense, she was, without her ever realizing it, the reason Green Street felt so much like home. Because she helped us recognize how we could be more inclusive and why that was so desperately needed.
Although we had acted like a Reconciling Congregation long before 2009, we officially adopted that designation, and a new mission statement, in October of that year:
Green Street United Methodist Church is called to the ministry of the sacred worth of all people. We embrace as a gift the diversity of our neighborhood and the world. We celebrate our human family’s diversity of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, faith history, economic status, marital status, physical and mental ability education, and any other difference, real or perceived. We affirm that all people are created in the image of God and as beloved children of God, all are worthy of God’s love and grace. We welcome the full inclusion of all people in the life and ministries of Green Street United Methodist Church as we journey toward reconciliation through Christ. We recognize that there are differences among us, but believe that we can love alike even though we may not think alike. We proclaim this statement of welcome to all who have known the pain of exclusion and discrimination in the church or in society and know that everyone’s participation in our ministries enriches us. We invite all people to join us in our faith journey toward greater love, understanding, and mutual respect.
Thanks Neena. I hope your flight was safe and that Donnie and Kate know they are so so loved down here.
I’m gonna walk the streets of glory/I’m gonna walk the streets of glory one of these days, Hallelujah!/I’m gonna walk the streets of glory/I’m gonna walk the streets of glory one of these days!