Be Always Kind and True

At the door to the Best Western in Lawrenceville, Georgia, as some of our airport-bound RevGalBlogPals were leaving Wednesday morning, I began to sing a little song my father taught me, years and years ago:

Sunday School is over, and we are going home.
Goodbye! Goodbye! Be always kind and true.

It somehow came as no surprise when one of my new-found sisters began to sing along on her way out the door.

For two days, a group of women of varied backgrounds and four denominations sat around a table and began the planning for an event that will draw together many more. We found many areas of easy agreement and some of deeply held differences, but in all things we practiced kindness and patience and acceptance of diversity.

I lived in an ecumenical household. My father’s family helped found the Methodist Church in town, and that was after founding the Episcopal church years before. My mother’s people were Southern Baptist. When we lived in another town for six years, we attended a Presbyterian Church, and I went to an Episcopal school. I am now part of the United Church of Christ. Through all the changes of practice and thought, I like to think I’ve held to Daddy’s little song, to strive to be always kind and true, even when being truthful may also be painful.

I’m grateful for the gathering and for those who made it possible: Questing Parson, who drove all over the universe and forgave me for not finding him at the airport, and reverend mommy, who hosted us at her church despite her recent illness and also managed to find a way for RevAbi to attend the board meeting electronically. I’m grateful also to my RevGalBlogPals who traveled at their own expense to meet together and do this good work. It was my first meeting with Jody of Quotidian Grace and Mary Beth of Terrapin Station, yet we felt comfortable together instantly, I think. I rejoiced at the opportunity to see my dear friends Cheesehead and will smama and St. Casserole. And it was a joy to meet young Natalie, who blogs at Take My Hand. What will the Church Universal be like when she takes her ordination vows someday? Where will we find ourselves? I hope that in the main we will have learned to work together the way our small group did this week, discerning what matters most for God’s purposes and leaving our differences to the side wherever we could.

See you at a location to be determined soon, March 27-30, 2008!

Goodbye! Goodbye! Be always kind and true!

10 thoughts on “Be Always Kind and True”

  1. Songbird! When I get together every October and February with my women friends — the ones I call the Shadow Women on my blog — my friend Signing Woman always sings that song as each person leaves. I’ve never seen it or heard it anywhere else. (I grew up Catholic.) How fitting to come across it on your blog.

  2. I am so glad I have heard the song now. And, I am still not familiar with it, but think I should be so NOW I AM.
    In addition, I hear a very pretty voice!

  3. I still can’t believe y’all were in Lawrenceville, GA. Mere minutes from Winder, my hometown. Hope you left some good energy there as I’m headed to visit the parents, bro and SIL and niece in a couple of weeks. Parents are still difficult, after all these years.
    And I’m so impressed with all the hard work by all the matriarchs. Thank you.

  4. new song for me too … thanks for recording it for us! looking forward to hearing it sung by all the RGBPs in March. Meantime, thanks for all your good hard work to make that happen!

  5. So glad you are home safe and had a positive meeting. Wish I coudl have been there to meet with y’all Tuesday night. Would have loved to ahve met you and others and to have seen QP,Cheese and Cass again.
    i am tenativly marking calnder and will be looking for more info soon. March 08 soudns so goood!!!!

  6. a couple of hours after listening to this adorable song sung by a beautiful voice last night, I was lying in bed with, inexplicably, “the farmer in the dell” running through my head.
    I think the tunes are related.

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