On the Island

A Process of Beloved Community by Rev. Lynn Gardner

We gathered in a circle and spoke of our tender, brave, and painful truths, with faith in the Holy to help us find the words, and with a growing trust in one another. The rocks, the sea, the sunlight and rain, and even the gulls helped shape a container to hold the experiences of relationships and communities constricted and shredded by a culture of white supremacy.

And, rising up through our songs, tears, prayers, laughter, sharing and yearning was the sweet smell of hope, whispers of possibility, and the grounding strength of our commitments.

In process theology the Divine and all existence is always becoming. Our collective attention, actions, and thoughts impact the present, and what is possible in the next moment. Poet and professor Christina Hutchins describes how she chooses a broad vocabulary, not just because it makes current language more interesting and specific, but because she wants to expand, rather than limit, word choices in the future. Our living is a series of potential endings and beginnings, and our choices affect what will and can unfold.

Oppression constricts, silences, and destroys, not just humanity, not just all ecosystems on Earth, but the Mystery that moves in and among us.

As we gathered on that rocky island, I imagined the possibilities of God expanding. I felt connected to all those who have yearned and worked for collective liberation.

Buoyed by the inspiration and strength of our time together, I move through my small fears and self-doubt. Who am I to keep God smaller than God is possible of becoming?

The Beloved Community Project is a journey Star Island has begun as an organization, to open minds and hearts, to be deeply inclusive, and to bring more justice and peace into the world. We recognize and affirm that others have been on this journey for a long time, and we are excited to learn from them as we continue on this important journey. We hope to inspire readers to be part of our journey toward becoming a more welcoming and intentional community, and to help spread more empathy and understanding in the world.