I love stories. By this, I mean I could sit for hours and listen to someone talk about their dreams, their struggles and their hopes. Today, I listened to a Methodist preacher, Laurel, talk about her childhood in Barbados and the transition to living in New York City. I learned that she had a period of time where she walked away from the church because the division was so counter to her understanding of Christianity, as it is for many. She told me about her mother who kept pushing Laurel to attend church, which resulted in her eventual ordination. There were many twists and turns but the path led to the pulpit. When she talks about her current church in Manchester, CT, you know she lives what she preaches. Every line is laced with a deep desire to see the community flourish, even after she leaves in June to head back to New York after fourteen years. "We need people in our church to be willing to take care of our sick and elderly, because there are a few of them who we need to look out for. We need people to call them, to check on them, and to take care of them." Those are the words of a woman who has an authentic concern for her people. She loves them.
I hope to be able to do more photo shoots like this- simply an hour of taking photos and learning a new story full of life and character.