Dear Fremont Family:


The power of friendship has been on my mind lately. Many of you know that after Easter, I traveled to Texas to see the Total Eclipse. It was a wonderful time for me to be away after an exceptionally full and beautiful Holy Week and Easter. While the total eclipse was on the itinerary, the real reason I went to Texas was friendship. I have a group of women friends who are deeply important to me, and one of those friends just happens to live in Austin, which just happened to be in the path of totality. Perfect synergy. This group of women have become a refuge for me, accompanying me (two of them for over 20 years now) through my various seasons of life as a woman, pastor, mother and friend. That kind of friendship and accompaniment is powerful.


This Sunday, April 21, we are honored to host author and citizen of the Navajo Nation, Mark Charles. This event is the fruit of friendship. He comes to us through our friendship with both Rev. Allen Buck, pastor of Great Spirit UMC and Director for the Circle of Indigenous Ministries, and Dr. Leroy Barber, organizer with Neighborhood Economics. Mark Charles has been with us before at Fremont. We have been sustaining a conversation for several years now regarding our Land Acknowledgement and the work we must continue to do to “decolonize faith.” The beauty of friendship is that honesty is crucial, listening is necessary, and knowing one another is transformation.


Dr. Charles will once again encourage us, agitate us and create in us a change of heart and mind necessary for increased healing and peace. The last time that Dr. Charles was with us was for Indigenous People’s Day in October 2022. Think about how far we have come since then. At Fremont, we have just completed a study on Reparations, and we are about to do our first act of wealth redistribution as a result! Friendship over time bears witness to our growth and change.


Please join me on Sunday afternoon, and if you could, please share this information widely with friends and neighbors. We would love to host others in this important conversation and exchange.


Grace and peace,