If Dr. King Knew My Dreams…

I wonder what Dr. King would say about my dreams. He was both a minister and dreamer, and so am I! If he were alive, I’d tell him that when I dream…

I dream of a church ALIVE!

One that is an active, engaged and inclusive church. One where every person regardless of race, gender, sexuality, economic station or citizenship status can feel at home inside its doors. One that is racially diverse, social-justice oriented, and a light with the holy spirit. A church where parishioners don’t just sit in the pew, safe and passive, but one where it’s people can be found at the margins, serving, postesting, challenging, and impacting change. A church that will not rest until God’s vision for our world becomes a reality.

I want a church that makes every church song come to life! A church where hymns like We Are Called,  One Bread One Body, Be Not Afraid,Here I Am, Lord and all the other memorable verses sung from the mouths of the congregation would become a mantra of our daily actions. Then, they will TRULY know that we are christian by our love. Not a passive love, but a love active and passionate to make God’s love known to each and every person on earth.

I dream of a world where people aren’t more focused on comfort than on justice.

I dream of a world where realities like the injustice of racism, sexism and homophobia, are not part of the fabric of an institution modeled after a Christ who stood by ALL  those on the margins. I yearn for a church that isn’t tied to only one political party over God’s infinite truth. Where issues linked to human experience aren’t co-opted or rallied behind by political parties for beneficial gain. 

I dream of a church that isn’t afraid to stir the public conscience by living in the dynamic, unapologetic, life-transforming experience of the gospel. I want a congregation who isn’t more concerned with what their friends or neighbors think than living the teachings of Jesus. 

I dream of being a woman of strength, wisdom, and Impact. I believe at my best I am a woman that contains all of the above inside me, but I marvel at what I could do if i had the confidence to bring them all together at once. I would preach from the mountaintops. I would inspire young women and people and color  to believe that the church is theirs as well.  I would challenge that euro-centric view of the church to widen its arms to those on the margins. I would show the world that women can be just as motivating as they are maternal; can be just as powerful as they are passionate; can we be just as impactful as they are patient. I could inspire the church to come alive!

I  dream of adding my name to the list of women (real and fictional) who inspire me…names like Ava Duvernay, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelo, Michelle Obama, Hoda Kodtb, Brene Brown, Mindy Khaling, Tina Fey, Issa Rae, Midge Mazel, Austin Channing Brown…the list goes on.

I dream that I can one day sit among their ranks. That my preaching can add to their strong and powerful example. I imagine myself one day becoming the new Fr. Mike Schmitz. The black, female, non-clerical version of a charismatic and passionate witness to the gospel. I want to be someone who can stir the church to use faith to engage in making our world a true representation of the kingdom of heaven.

The Kingdom of heaven where dreams become a beatific reality!

Black American civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) addresses crowds during the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, where he gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

5 thoughts on “If Dr. King Knew My Dreams…

  1. Kayla, girl — powerful woman and preacher you are! I can sense it even through a screen. As I read your post again and consider our learning group’s sharing last night, this is what sticks out:

    “I dream of being a woman of strength, wisdom, and Impact. I believe at my best I am a woman that contains all of the above inside me, but I marvel at what I could do if i had the confidence to bring them all together at once. I would preach from the mountaintops.”

    1) Yes, Amen, Alleluia.
    2) Have you had experiences, moments, times where you do feel that confidence brought to the forefront? Who was with you? How did it feel? How does it feel to articulate it?
    3) As you write about your dream of being a woman of strength, wisdom, and impact, what do those values/words mean to you? Has that changed over time? Who is with you in that strength and wisdom? I wonder if perhaps you are already preaching from the mountaintops that God forms you as a woman of valor, an eshet chayil (proverbs 31). Peace. How does that woman of impact have her work and vision sustained?

  2. Kayla, I feel the Holy Spirit ALIVE in you. It is pouring out of you ready to live into this vision NOW. What if all you write is true, and you are being called to step into the truth being true? I feel the hunger in our church for a preacher like you. Would you consider creating a blog or a website or some other social medium where you are preaching every week? For the Catholic Church to have a black female preacher during precisely this time of standing up for Black Lives Matter and surviving a pandemic would be the gift many of us hunger for. There are preachers who already have a visible ongoing online presence through their writing or speaking like Fr. Greg Boyle, Fr. Richard Rohr, Fr. Robert Barron, etc. They must be answering a call to speak to larger and larger groups of people. What if you too are being called?

  3. Dr. August, I can feel your dream of a church ALIVE, that cares more for justice than for comfort, and that uses the songs as a mantra and a compass for action and prayer as a church. If you started something like Ellie mentioned, I would subscribe to your channel.

    I also feel really strongly how you call on the communion of saints for your inspiration and strength, and how your communion of saints comes from all over the map, with all sorts of gifts to offer. With a diverse background of models, and bringing a truly “universal” goodness into your message and connecting this universality with a Catholic universality, you are offering lifeblood to a church that often finds itself more comfortable than just.

    There’s another gift you have, and I don’t know how it could play into your call to preach, but it seems worth mentioning: you are observant of others and care about bringing others’ voices and experience out into the light, into the open, which is also part of making people feel seen and welcomed…part of your vision of church. Could this be a part of your preaching ministry? Dr. King was an inspired preacher and the food for his preaching was community organizing for gospel-inspired social change. One of your seminal experiences of the call to preach occurred on a trip to Africa with your students, accompanying students in the real work of personal transformation. Would empowering others through your preaching give you the call, the support and the confidence to be strong, wise, powerful and impactful all at once?

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