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I’ve been thinking a lot about dignity lately. Dignity is the right of every person to be valued and respected. We all deserve it, no matter what our age, background, culture, history, race, class, or gender. It is certainly a part of our baptismal covenant as we promise with God’s help to respect the dignity of every human being (BCP, 305). It’s a wise person who recognizes that we do not give dignity to another; rather, each of us affirms the dignity of another. Every human being is beautifully imbued with dignity by virtue of being created in the image of God and as one of God’s beloved. I believe God weaves it into our very being. 

These days we have many opportunities and invitations to affirm dignity. I would even say that for many of us, myself included, there is necessary acknowledgment in seeing where we have fallen short of affirming dignity. There is important and good work to be done. I am so very inspired and excited for what has been building and growing here at GSL. Turn the page and get inspired about the Social Justice Ministry; learn about its vision and focus areas. Then read on about how the newly formed MICAH GSL Core Team has exploded with energy and readiness in amplifying voices to bring community change in education and economic equity, as well as with race and class equity in the justice system.

I think about Dr. Bell Hooks, author, activist, and professor at Yale and Berea College, who said, “Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world.” Every day we are called to beloved community - with ourselves and neighbors in deepening and varied ways. It is an honor to live into affirming dignity and becoming beloved community with you. The Holy Spirit is moving and grooving so brilliantly; I cannot wait to see what more she has in store!


The Rev. Laura F. Gettys, Associate Rector
901-252-6329 | lgettys [at] gracestlukes [dot] org