Are you willing to minister with all persons without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, social status, gender, sexual orientation, age, economic condition or disabilities? It is my hope, that Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors is truly more than a slogan for all United Methodist Churches. My call to a ministry of Peace and Justice arises out of my own disability. Being uncategorically different, I was put into special education in second grade, even though they were unable to define what my disability, till the age seventeen. Then I was tested again and defined me as dyslexic, dysgraphic, and have ADD with out the hyperactivity. In time learning that mainly meant that I did not read very well, and think slightly differently than most. This is a learning disability that could have been avoided as a hindrance had the educational structure been able to accommodate for me. However, the current educational model still believes that all children (persons) learn the same way. Even though in academic setting it is common knowledge that multi-sensory learning enhances everyone’s learning ability. This type of paradigm is the same that enables racism, sexism, ageism ableism, classism, heterosexism and egotism in general. In our western society my ancestors were European settlers who believed that their way life, their culture in which the only culture. This created a culture that women and persons of dark skin were treated inhumanely. It was only 1960-70’s that this was actually positively addressed. However, the topic of inequality among all persons is yet to fully be addressed. God’s children come in all shapes and sizes, colors, and genders. As a church we must be willing to work with all God’s children regardless of the world’s categories that attempt to divide us. Yet, as a diverse people we should come together and be unified in building the Kingdom of God that celebrates our kaleidoscope of uniqueness. As the contemporary Christian band DC Talk puts in their song Colored People:
We’re colored people, and we live in a tainted place ~ We’re colored people, and they call us the human race ~ We’ve got a history so full of mistakes ~ And we are colored people who depend on a holy grace ~ A piece of canvas is only the beginning for ~ It takes on character with every loving stroke ~ This thing of beauty is the passion of an artist’s heart ~ By God’s design, we are a skin kaleidoscope ~ We’ve gotta come together, Aren’t we all human after all?