This Sunday we will be holding a Ministry Transition Service as I retire from the ministry of the Garden Church. Rev. Dr. Amanda Adams Riley will continue to lead our ministry with the new title, "Lead Pastor." Rev. Dr. David Christopher Brown will join us as "Pastor." Rev. Dave's position is part-time and he will continue in his current capacity as Lead Minister at The Wayfarers Chapel. Connie McOsker is in training to become our Licensed Pastor, expected to be consecrated in 2023.
In retirement I will be conducting wedding, baptism and memorial services at Wayfarers Chapel, and on occasion lead Sunday worship.
Even without a transition service, this Sunday brings together several occasions, each of which could easily inspire a service of its own. This Sunday marks Juneteenth, Fathers Day, Pride Weekend in San Pedro, and the Sunday before Summer Solstice. So I will mention just a few of the ways I am proud of what we have done together.
Juneteenth: At the height of the pandemic we conducted an online anti-racism study, and we have hosted MLK Teach-ins, honoring the multi-dimensional social justice legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Fathers Day. One of the great blessings of my time here has been watching the growth of our Little Sprouts program, a rich context for hands-on (or should I say hands-in-the-dirt) learning for preschoolers and a place of supportive community for their parents and guardians.
Gay Pride. My husband, Carl Blenkin, and I tied the knot at the Garden Church, after decades of being together. I will be forever grateful for your welcome of us and all people of the LGBTQIA+ community and beyond.
Summer Solstice. As a garden, we follow the cycle of the year, including the water year. In our prayer of confession each Sunday, we acknowledge that we are on the unceded territory of the Tongva People and in the Dominguez Channel Watershed. It is my hope for the Garden Church that it will continue to learn from wisdom of the indigenous inhabitants of the LA basin.
I and you-all are entering the next phases of our ministries. The Garden Church is still young, ever eager to explore new avenues of service. You are blessed with a strong team of ordained and lay leadership. I look forward to following your next adventures.
Your biggest fan,
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