Old Poole Place Dedication - Reflections from Rev. Debbie Kirk - Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church

May 11, 2024

Rev. Debbie Kirk - Hudson Presbyterian Church
Rev. Debbie Kirk - Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church 

We are here at Old Poole Place this afternoon because of our commitment to the vision of the Beloved Community to which each of our faith traditions is called to respond.  

We are all embodied with a spark of the Creator, and we are part of an entire mesh of existence binding us together...each of us a particle of this greater entity. (Katherine May) We are compelled to work together for the betterment of the world, and we do that with Habitat for Humanity. 

We know that houses are more than simply places for people to live; they are examples of the way we exist in harmony as a human community that allows space for diverse voices, experiences and conditions.  

When we as people of faith, who experience the Creator in different ways, call the Holy One by many names and travel on various paths come together we are evidence that God is much bigger than we can imagine.  

A fundamental truth of all our faith traditions is that we are called to love neighbors as ourselves, to put that love into action, and to be advocates for systemic change where it is required. 

Building houses where families thrive and healthy neighborhoods are created, the Beloved Community grows.  

One of wonderful things about Habitat is the inclusion of children who can experience this kind of community where they are as they learn about what we are doing. The baffles that they create are one of the simplest and most significant parts of the houses we build. Just as baffles are the fabric of each home the faith partners are the fabric of each build.  The baffles contain powerful messages: you are loved; all are welcome in this place; amazing things happen here. Similar words are on all the baffles created by children in each of our traditions without us telling them what to write. As we share what is happening with the building of each home, they “get it” and they will grow up with a tangible expression God’s love in action. 

Children decorate baffles for Habitat Homes

Together we affirm that God is creative, expansive, and inclusive. Just like a kaleidoscope, the faith partners are made of beautiful individual pieces, and when we are together each is informed and shaped by the others, as we become the Beloved Community.  

Old Poole Place is a powerful antidote to so much the world that divides and causes harm to others and to creation.  Though we all express it using language most familiar to each tradition, master Creator calls us work together for common causes. 

Friends, what we do here is sacred.  What a blessing it is to be called to this work in this time and in this place.