Alka's Angle February 12, 2019

Dear Broadway Family,

     Continuing our celebration of Black History Month, today I wish to lift up the name and story of Dr. Rebecca Lee CrumplerAt a time when very few women worked outside of the home, Dr. Crumpler was saving lives. Earning her M.D. degree from New England Female Medical College in 1864, she was the only African-American person to earn a degree from the institution and the first African-American female physician in the United States.

 

     After the American Civil War ended in 1865, she moved to Richmond, Virginia, believing it to be "a proper field for real missionary work" and to continue her focus on diseases of women and children. Crumpler worked for the Freedmen's Bureau to provide medical care to freed slaves. She was subject to "intense racism" and sexism while practicing medicine, but that did not deter her and in 1883, Crumpler became the first black physician to publish a medical text, "A Book of Medical Discourses in Two Parts."

     Reading and learning about these wonderful people of strong will and determination gives me hope for our current world! The racism, sexism, rejection and trauma that they experienced did not make them weaker, but stronger to continue to do the work they believed they were called to do. And, even though they are not among the well-known names in our story -- they indeed are persons who prepared the way for us. They give us courage. They give us strength. They inspire us to not be disappointed when the outcome is not what we desired, when the perception of your actions is far from the truth, when you are invisible to the people in front of you. They remind us that we are not always called to do things that make other people like us, but to do things that are right and likeable in the eyes of God and for the larger good!

     I am specially attracted to this story as I prepare to go to St Louis in less than two weeks for the special called General Conference. The many emails, articles and letters that we are receiving pull us in various directions and try to prove their plan to be the best plan to save the institution. I ask --

 

  • am I called to save the institution or be faithful to the people I serve?
  • Do I think about the defending the status quo or protecting those whom the plan can potentially do more harm to?
  • Am I worried about losing friends or losing myself?

 

     Hard questions -- so I need your help! People of God, please pray for all of us delegates, for those of the queer community that are bravely showing up as their lives and very beings are discussed and voted upon, and pray for the people in power that God will guide them to do the right thing and not just the more accepted thing.

 

     Remember, we are called to build one another in a way that frees them, and us, to live authentic lives. Let us love one another, support one another, and of course, pray for one another. Prayerfully, I remain your partner in justice.

 

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