Be the burning bush

Women of Color Consultation participants urged to listen to ‘unexpected’ sources

October 26, 2011

Charlotte, N.C.

The question isn’t whether God is calling you — it’s what God is calling you to do or be, said the Rev. Magdalena Garcia at the Women of Color Consultation here Oct. 20.

Preaching on the story of Moses and the burning bush (Exodus 3), Garcia told attendees that God spoke to Moses through an unexpected source.

“We better start turning aside and we better start paying attention to God’s burning bushes,” she said. “God is calling us — all of us — to turn aside and to pay attention to the burning bushes all around us, burning with a longing to be understood.

“Turn aside and listen to your sisters from a different racial group because they are God’s burning bushes,” Garcia said, adding that women from generations, sexual orientation, immigration status and faith traditions must be listened to.

The Women of Color Consultation’s purpose is to enhance “the roles of women of color, embracing their leadership skills and encouraging their full participation in presbyteries, synods and the General Assembly of the PC(USA),” according to the program booklet.

The consultation was mandated by the 218th General Assembly (2008) and will result in a report and recommendations to the 220th Assembly in 2012. The first consultation was held in 2004, and information from that event was gathered in a report to the 218th GA.

Garcia urged the women at the consultation to listen to the burning bushes they come across, but also to remember that they are bushes themselves. She spoke about a conversation she had with her son, where he was trying to guess what role she played in her childhood church’s production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He finally guessed that she was cast as a bush — a role that she embraces today.

“Oh, I am a bush,” she said. “More importantly, you are a bush.

“Are you willing to burn alive from God’s truth and purpose so that others might see God at work?”

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