On the Island

But What Is the Beloved Community Project? By Rev. Deanna Vandiver

This piece is an excerpt from It Is Time Now: Offerings from the Beloved Community Project, an educational resource produced in 2019 as part of Star Island’s Beloved Community Project. The Star Island Beloved Community Project is a journey SIC has begun as an organization to create a more inclusive and intentional community, to help spread more empathy and understanding in the world, and to become a more welcoming place for all people. We recognize and affirm that many have been on this journey for a long time, and we are excited to listen and learn as we continue on this important journey.


I can tell a bit of   why
And share some   who
But the    what
And the    how
are being manifest even
as we lean into each other
with holy curiosity
The possibility of living
with self-differentiated, undefended hearts
brings songs flaring forth
like solar wind
Alive with the kinetic energy
of re-membering
respect, kindness, hope
A vast love blooming
In spirit, muscles, blood, and bones


Many storms—named and unnamed—etched
in our nervous systems
Barrels of pain stored
in our collective memories
We are aching for the
Only possible when
the harm
has stopped
Thousands of years
of suffering and surviving and thriving
Daydreaming a whole and holy liberation

Tender solos rising up from choral strength
Sorrows held so, so gently
Joy reflected, like mirrors reflecting mirrors,
unto infinity
wonder tendered with trust
rituals created/re-created to hold
all that our words cannot
Each time we meet
In body or in spirit
my heart is stitched
by another thread of love
To your heart
And yours
And yours
And yours

And yours…
Choosing to be and do differently
Than how we have
done been conditioned to be and do
Oh, how we co-create
With courage, faith, and wisdom
a love net
to hold us in the healing now
(even when it is not yet)
Beloved community.