When I visited Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln’s summer home, I learned that Robert, as president of the Pullman Company, exploited the people whom his father freed. Yet black Pullman porters rose up to extend civil rights and social justice. Pullman porter E.D. Nixon paid Rosa Parks’ bail in Montgomery, Alabama, and asked a young Martin Luther King, Jr. to lead a bus boycott there. And Pullman porter A. Philip Randolph called for the 1963 March on Washington which culminated in King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
While watching the debacle that was the sixth out of 15 attempts by Republicans to elect a Speaker for the United States House of Representatives, I heard Scott Perry of Pennsylvania try to remind the racially and ethnically diverse Democratic members of the House that Frederick Douglass was a Republican. His intention must have been to suggest that were he alive today, Frederick Douglass would identify with Scott Perry and the members of the Republican Caucus in Congress. What Scott Perry needed then and now is a history lesson on Mr. Douglass.
It’s easy to spend time, as I am right now, looking back and remembering the way things used to be, or looking ahead worrying about what might be. However, I have learned over the years that now is the most important moment. Fully living right now is the greatest spiritual practice, being present in the moment, being present with the person right in front of me.
This year, I find it more difficult to offer predictions for the new year than I did two years ago, in the throes of the pandemic. However, here are church trends to watch—and reasons for hope—as we head into 2023.
When pastors retire from full-time paid ministries, they often feel lost or unanchored. But for me, my daily walk has become a ministry, where I have formed a community that can be called “Sausalito Morning Church.”