KellyBatesOglesby

As I traveled along the way spiritually, I followed the Holy Spirit to Mennonite Church USA.  It’s been quite a journey and I remain open to the adventures of fellowship and witness.

 

Nonetheless, preparing to participate as credentialed delegate at KC2015 presented opportunities afresh to go deeper, further on the way.

The motif of followers of Jesus is used throughout the convention experience.  Yet, as I began this unknown way of Mennonite Church Convention I felt more like the Ethiopian eunuch hoping someone could help me understand what I was reading.  The Holy Spirit provided Wilma Bailey, a sage with exceptional grace. Just as she introduced me to Mennonite Church USA in her quiet way, she now guided me towards fuller understanding of what is now our church.

 
Wilma counseled me to take time to engage and explore the exhibition area. In this area, I found resources. Moreover, I found relationships!  I chatted with Yvonne Diaz and Iris de León-Hartshorn, Michelle Armster, Rhoda Miller Blough along with Pastor Sue Park Hur.

 

These beautiful ladies shared lessons they had learned along the way and invited me to share laughter and love as we went along this week.

 
The People of Color Dinner provided sanctuary to those of us willingly living out our faith where we are few. The fellowship celebrated the fact that while we are few we are neither faint nor fragile. Bishop Leslie Francisco encouraged and inspired. Ewuare X. Osayande reaffirmed the brilliance and beauty we bring to Mennonite Church USA.

 

The task of being a delegate was made easier by the beautiful people of table 47. Jennifer Delanty was excellent and empowering table leader.  Our perspectives varied but our purpose was singular, we discerned and dialogued with facts, faith, and fervency.

Yet, we held our fellowship prayerfully and lovingly.

 

As I leave KC2015, I thank God I have seen face to face the God in my virtual Mennonite Church. Tyler Tully, Melissa Florer-Bixler, Barbara Funnell, Luke Yoder, Cyneatha Millsaps.

 

I am hoping as I go along the way Mennonite Church USA will be able see me and those like me. Join us as we seek to breathe as we are choked by systemic injustice and the smoke of our sacred space burning. Work with us to help all to understand Black Lives Matter and the right to life includes the right to live in peace.

Welcome us and receive the gifts we bring as we journey along the way.