Thoughts from a Member

On October 31 in worship, Calvary member David Grise served as lay worship leader.  October 31 is always a special day for David and his wife, Gina Underwood, because two years ago they joined Calvary on Reformation Sunday.  David grew up a Lutheran, so the day has special liturgical meaning for him, too.  Before he prayed the invocation prayer, David shared a few words of personal reflection with the Calvary community.  It would not be completely out of the realm of possibility that some of the pastors cried when they heard David’s unexpected words.  They are reprinted here with his permission.

Two years ago today, on Reformation Sunday, my wife Gina and I joined this congregation.  Gina and I grew up in small towns in Kentucky.  Church congregations in Kentucky are usually very homogenous groups, each representing one race, one culture and one class.   On the day we joined Calvary, we received our Bulletin from a Burmese woman, sat behind a man with dreadlocks, and next to a couple who spoke only Spanish.    For the first time, we were received into a congregation by a female minister and were welcomed by a couple who, we later learned, owned a million dollar home, and a man who had no home at all.

We will return to Kentucky in about four months.  And we will take with us a great gift.  We have seen, with our own eyes, what we only heard before . . .that the Christ which binds us together is far greater than the racial, sexual, cultural and economic factors which make us appear different.  Thank you for that.

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About Amy

Senior Pastor, The Riverside Church, New York
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