Wednesday, October 19, 2005

GBCS board meeting: wrap-up

Just a quick wrap-up note about GBCS before I moved to where I am this week: Drew Tipple-Vosburgh Lectures.

On Saturday, we had a special dinner to honor Dr. Dorothy Height with a "Faith in Action" award. Dr. Height was president of the National Council of Negro Women for more than 40 years, and a longtime participant and leader in the civil rights movement. One of her special achievements: She established the Bethune Museum and Archives for Black Women, which is the first institution devoted to black women's history.

Dr. Height is 93 now, and still witty and clever, and quite a stylish dresser! We got to hear her speak at her dinner, and I found her quite inspiring. During my time in seminary, I got to take a couple of classes that centered on African-American History, and I became aware of just how much I don't know. My knowledge of the civil rights movement had previously been limited to MLK and some knowledge about Malcomn X, and that was it. What a rich history we have - learn it!

Another thing I wanted to mention was the gift of leadership from Bishop James Swanson. Bishop Swanson was on the board last quadrennium as a clergy member, and I didn't get to know him very well. I still don't know him well, but I've become more appreciate of his impact on the board. Somehow, when he speaks on the floor when we're not all in agreement on a certain issue, he has a very pastoral presence among us and helps us move forward with humor and grace (and a bit more speed). That is a real gift to have, and I'm thankful for his presence.
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