In the Campbell-Taylor home, Chicken Marbella is our favorite dish to fix for guests because it’s all about abundance and diversity: chicken and olives and capers and garlic and wine and fruit and parsley and bay leaves and oregano and balsamic vinegar and it’s crazy how delicious it is. A while back I caught myself thinking that Jesus would love Chicken Marbella. I mean, like I said, it’s all about abundance and diversity. Abundance is part of how Jesus speaks of his earthly mission: “I came that they might have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). And the Bible celebrates diversity—from Genesis’s account of the extravagance of God’s creativity to Revelation’s vision of God’s glorious reign: “After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…” (Rev 7:9).
- During my first days at OPC, I’ve been blessed by the abundance and diversity of this faith community:
- Abundant hospitality: A welcome basket from the deacons; a handmade mug from CreationWise’s Mary Gould; cards and offers of assistance from so many of you, and a warm welcome from all.
- Diverse backgrounds: The breathtaking witness of all those hand-in-hand people— who look alike only when viewed through the eyes of God—encircling the sanctuary to sing “There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit.”
- Abundant discipleship: The power of the Tuesday Prayer Meeting; the dedication of OPC’s musicians; the passion of every group I’ve met with.
- Diverse perspectives: The opportunity to listen to those who speak for a tradition and to those who yearn for innovation; the life experiences shared in the RED-sponsored Sunday School forum; the rainbow of children playing outside my office window.
- Abundant patience: You can check with Brady and Glenda on this
Thanks for the opportunity to add my own diversity: unchurched into adulthood and now a pastor; an American who’s repeatedly lived abroad; the only female among three brothers, two sons, and one husband. And I’ll close by adding my abundant gratitude to the committee who hired me, to the staff members who good-naturedly answer my questions, to all who invite me into your ongoing ministry, and, most of all, to God, whose love and grace is the Why and the How of all that we do.
PS: Please tell me your name again. And again.