The conversation around the table was deep and wide. Religion/spirituality/church work -- check. Human rights/individual rights/denial of rights -- check. Family/growing up/yet to be born -- check. Stupid jokes/lengthy anecdotes/updates in incomplete sentences because not all nouns need verbs -- check.
We enjoyed the kind of night that old friends who feel like family can enjoy. After months spent apart, put food in front of us and let the overlapping voices, laughter, and empathy begin.
No one would say our gathering was without its share of quirky participants -- a former minister-turned-videographer with progressive politics but a growing sense that government may know too much about us, a current minister too young to be sending a child to college and yet in the city for that very reason, the student who vacillates between girlish giggles and trying on the role of wise woman, her childhood friend who quietly absorbs the character-driven conversation, a teacher just back from vacationing on the West coast and weary from a day of playing catch up in his office, a decorator/real estate agent/minister who in his mid-60s is ramping up his career options, and me, formerly in the ministry, then politics, and now heading for new lessons around a massage table and through networking with non-profits worldwide.
If I hadn't been included, I would have wanted to be!