“You’re going to give a presentation at the churches,” I explained.
“We’re going to what?”
“Share an update at the churches. And just a heads up, some of them have more than one service.”
“We’re going to share more than once?”
Public speaking: everyone’s favorite pastime, right? Imagine the butterflies you get, the way your face tightens into a contorted expression you hate, and the way you find yourself hoping that they’ll run out of time before they can call your name.
Now imagine speaking publicly in a church full of people from a different cultural background than you. Whose skin, for the most part, is a different shade than yours. Who don’t speak your language. Who may or may not want you in the room at all.
Many of you have been in this position. It’s not an easy place to be. But you certainly feel accomplished after it’s done, don’t you? You gain the sense that you’re somebody who has something to say.
During the winter quarter I’ll be going with several members of the Westside community member team to share about our work in front of the churches who have been supporting us along the way. The community members will be sharing in the language of their choice, and in some instances they may be the only Latinos in the sanctuary. Put all this on top of the fact that a few of them just don’t like public speaking in general… it’s no small task.
This is our role in the church collaborative- we exist to empower the less-powerful so that they can stand up and speak for their community. So that they get the chance to share their stories, successes, and hopes for the future. We get them into positions where they do the talking, and then watch as the social order slowly changes.
So with a few deep breaths and a bit of practice, we’ll be sharing over the next few months. Hope to see some of you there!