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Director’s Message


This is a very remarkable and busy time of the year. We are leaving Black History Month and the Chinese New Year and walking excitedly into Women’s History Month and the holy season of Lent. This is a season of contemplation, remembrance, and prayerful consideration of forward direction. As we settle into this period my prayer for you is that you bear in mind those who have sacrificed so that we all may live a better existence. In Black History month, we honor the determined resilience of such notable figures as Audre Lorde, Harriet Tubman, James Cone, and Katherine Johnson. They all availed their lives’ work to helping others open their eyes to a better place of freedom and advancement in some way.

In Women’s History Month, we honor brave changemakers such as Katie Cannon, Frida Kahlo, Claudette Colvin, and Malala Yousafzai who defied the odds to make a difference in our world.

All of these heroes, both past and present, endured adversity to combat the tyranny of patriarchy, sexism, homophobia, classism, and a myriad of other social ills. They all have travailed so that each of us may one day truly live a life of more abundance.

However, none sacrificed as much as the one we remember, honor, and contemplate during the season of Lent. The life of Jesus was more than just his final earthly moments. Throughout his life, Jesus exemplified what it truly means to embody justice, peace, rest, joy, and love. Lent is the season where we as believers slow down for a bit and honor what it means to receive the gift of life from the gift of Love. Jesus offers us a liberty and fulfillment that could never be achievable without his life being offered up for us all.

So, as we celebrate and remember the many people who have paved the way through trepidation, tyranny, and tremendous obstacles, let us blanket this time with a deeper appreciation for the Love shown in the greatest sacrifice of life ever given.

May God bless you and keep you during this time….


The Rev. Shanea D. Leonard
Director, Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries