Osheta Moore: You are Beloved

March 23, 2022 / Andrea Wenger
Jana Byer, Osheta Moore, Debbie Katz, and Teresa Horst after Moore's public presentation Monday evening
Jana Byer, Osheta Moore, Debbie Katz, and Teresa Horst after Moore's public presentation Monday evening

Osheta Moore spent two days with EMS to get to know the community and share a message of “belovedness,” calling students to know that each one is beloved, and to remember that all others are beloved children of God. Her visit was made possible by the school’s Kennel-Charles Endowed Fund, which brings speakers to engage with the school from an Anabaptist perspective.

Moore, a pastor, speaker, author, and podcaster, will be the commencement speaker for the class of ’22 on Saturday, June 4. The visit provided time for her to share with the whole school and get to know students, particularly graduating class members. She spoke in two chapel services for grades 6-12 (see videos) and an elementary school gathering, with each section of the Kingdom Living class (all seniors), and to visit with students informally over lunch and in hallways.

In each student group, she walked students through a practical prayer practice that included breathing and recognizing body connections. The practical tools can help students worship and calm stressful minds. She shared the Saint Ignatius Examen prayer, inviting students to a daily practice:

  • Become aware of God’s presence
  • Review the day with gratitude
  • Pay attention to your emotions
  • Choose one feature of the day and pray for it
  • Look forward to tomorrow

In addition, about 100 community members, and another 30 households by livestream, gathered Monday evening to hear Moore share stories and reflections from her book, Dear White Peacemakers: Dismantling Racism with Grit and Grace. Her presentation ended with “Q & R.”

“I can offer responses, but not all the answers,” she said after sharing from the perspective of a Black clergy woman, married to a White pastor, about the days following George Floyd’s death, just 11 minutes away from her home. Her letter to White peacemakers, written in love, came to her after observing the many white people engaging in protests following Floyd’s death and wondering, “Who is going to take care of you in this hard work?” Watch the evening’s program here.

MennoMedia sold her books (published by Herald Press) at the event and co-sponsored the talk, together with the Racial Justice Task Force of Virginia Mennonite Conference.

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