I love this discussion.
I feel like I could have talked with Edwin Estevez for a whole day. As pastor of the Grace Methodist Church in Wilmington, convening minister of the Riverfront Church, and active member of many diverse communities in Wilmington, Edwin is thoughtful, passionate and connected. We shared stories of our church backgrounds, and connected around why strong communities drive our respective work.
To me, one of the most compelling themes was the basic human idea of truly seeing each other – in our varied experiences, needs, backgrounds, and humanity. I believe there is a lot of today’s divide that is driven by misunderstanding, and not genuinely listening to others and trying to understand. In Edwin’s discussion, he talks also about organizations that he admires, and that includes those that “walk alongside,” but don’t try to dictate.
For me, whether the motivation for this kind of community work comes from a religious base or another sense of community, it can get us to a positive place.
n.b. There’s a small oops in here. In our discussion of Francois Clemmons and Mr. Rogers, I said that Francois was the postman on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Later in the discussion, I realized my error, and acknowledged at the end that he was indeed “Officer Clemmons.” Mr. Rogers lovers will know what I’m talking about.