Beloved long-time church member and renowned poet Christine Doreian Michaels presented a poem during the Presentation of Gifts at the Installation Service for Reverend Dr. Kate Walker on Sunday, May 15.
Reprinted here are Christine’s words from the service, along with her poem ‘Shall We Dance?’
Reverend Kate, our Reverend Kate, you put passion into your services, from tenderness to toughness. When the Women’s Alliance asked me to write a poem for your installation, I wanted to embody this. All the lines in this tribute are chosen from over 20 Songs for the Living, in a process I call word-weaving.
Shall We Dance? By Christine Doreian Michaels
We laugh, we cry, we live, we die, we dance, we sing our song.
This is my song, oh God of all the nations.
Touch the earth, reach the sky!
Walk on shores while spirits fly.
Come, come, whoever you are, wanderer,
worshiper, lover of leaving,
Circle of kinship, come and step inside.
Bring many names, beautiful and good.
Our world is one world, what touches one affects us all.
We’ll build a land that binds up the broken
There is more love somewhere,
love will guide us,
one more step, let us take one more step.
Every time I feel the spirit moving in my heart,
I will pray. Gather the spirit, harness the power,
feel the deep power of being in all.
The stillness strips the masks away,
exposing lonely hearts.
Find a stillness, hold a stillness,
let the stillness carry me.
I’ll live my life from day today
And now the healing starts.
Winds be still, storm clouds pass
and silence come,
Peace grace this time with harmony.
Our separate lives will kindle one flame
For our lives, for all we cherish, sing we
our joyful song of peace.
Nothing but peace is enough for me.
nothing but peace is enough.
So, Reverend Kate,
Let’s all join the dance.
photos courtesy of Kyle Gracey 2022