After nearly 15 years as Executive Director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle (and 19 with the Church Council overall), my season of service in this community that I love is coming to an end at the beginning of May. A new season will begin for Donna and me on the East Coast. There will be more on our next venture shortly. We will be moving closer to my mother, three brothers, their partners and children, and our two daughters. For me, it is a call to “go home” that is waiting to be fulfilled.
Three years ago, the pandemic began, with the suffering, uncertainty, and heroism of essential workers marking our landscape and changing our lives in ways we could not have imagined. It was three years ago, also, when the Church Council began a process of re-formation, nurturing seeds planted over many years to center BIPOC communities, foster sustainable change through community organizing, and dismantle white dominant underpinnings through anti-racist practices and structures. For us, we were living into the biblical image of pouring new wine into new wineskins. I have had the privilege of changing much during this re-formation, which is ongoing. Now, it is time for me to step aside and be amazed at how the Spirit is guiding the Church Council forward, under the brilliant leadership of our staff and board.
When I began my current role, I shared that it was my hope that the Church Council would realize the prophetic requirement “to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8). At times, the Church Council has had to embrace adaptive change to live out this mandate more faithfully. A willingness to learn, grow, discern, and act in authentic solidarity has been core to our practice. I can attest to the transformational power of God in our work together in community: collaborations, partnerships, vigils, protests, dialogues, conferences, forums, worship services, walks with workers, accompaniments, direct services, and advocacy. I have felt such power in the personal, ministerial, and cross-sectoral relationships we have cultivated and enjoyed over time! It has been humbling to see, through faith communities from various religious traditions, how in tending toward Micah’s call, we have seen the bending toward a more just society in Martin Luther King Jr. and South Snohomish Counties. We have a long way to go in order to arrive at our destination. More importantly, though, how we have gone about the journey together has yielded fruits beyond our capacity and what we thought was possible. Thank you for staying faithful to these pathways toward collective liberation.
I am grateful beyond words for all the love, friendship, and support you have showered upon the Church Council and me during this season of nearly two decades of walking together to say, “Yes, we can! Sí se puede!” I pray that you will continue this support for the Church Council in the emerging season ahead. As a community, let us remain steadfast in love for one another, overcome borders wherever they exist, and breathe life into the vision of a shared humanity where all flourish. Thank you from the core of my being for all the ways that your sacredness, wisdom, challenge, companionship, and passion for justice have expressed themselves during these years. May you continue to be “sanctuary” to one another in the days, months, and years ahead.
Indeed, all has been blessing in coming alongside you through the Church Council. Thank you!
We have started a Kudoboard where you can add a word of thanks to honor Michael’s time at the Church Council. We encourage you to share memories, good wishes, pictures, and videos! Please join us at his final Annual Assembly on Tuesday, March 28 from 6-7:30 PM. Stay tuned for more opportunities to celebrate!