Can You Believe It? I’m In the Pulpit!!

Please come join me on Sunday, Dec. 4th at 11 a.m. at Roxbury Presbyterian Church where I will begin a three month assignment as interim preacher, stepping into the pulpit behind Reverend Hurmon Hamilton who is leaving Boston to take over a ministry in Mountain View, California.

As the wonderful members of Roxbury Presbyterian search for a new permanent leader, I will have the privilege of taking over the pulpit duties…an awesome opportunity for me and one I am humbled to take on.

As a child growing up in Little Rock, Arkansas, I used to sit in the front row of my daddy’s church and think, “I will never ever ever be a preacher or a preacher’s wife or a member of church.  This is not where I want to be!”  I had no idea of the incredible journey that God had in store for me…through television news in Little Rock, Denver, San Francisco and Boston, into Harvard Divinity School, humanitarian work in Sudan, the ordination process in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the ministerial staff at Bethel AME in Jamaica Plain. Now this newest chapter in my life is by far the most exciting!

When I was a child, my daddy’s church represented a God and a way of life that I could not understand.  Now, some 50 years later, I cannot think of any other way I want to live.

Let me tell you why on December 4th at Roxbury Presbyterian Church: 384 Warren Street in Boston.


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Let’s Talk

In the 28 years that I worked in television news, I made only a few real friends.  I looked at most other reporters as competition, even those who were in my newsroom.  Back in those days of high salaries and higher celebrity status, local television news was a dog eat dog world.  A lot of folks smiled in your face but it didn’t mean they were truly on your side.   I have a few wounds that have yet to heal from that period in my life. I am just now beginning to realize how it affected my willingness to trust and open up to others.  I’m just now beginning to talk about it.

Talking is so important in healing internal wounds.  That’s why we’ve created Girls Night Out A few weeks ago, scores of gorgeous young women representing a variety of cultures gathered for our second Girls Night Out – a collaborative effort of the Better Living Campaign and the Boston Public Health Commission focused on community conversations about Mental Wellness held at Project Hope in Dorchester.  The day was filled with classes on gardening, cooking, exercise and most importantly a chance for women to talk with each other.  It was only when the talking began and the young women opened up that we all realized we all had anxieties, fears and doubts.  It felt good to share them.

It’s always good to talk.  Holding things inside is unhealthy.  Still, most of us live that way most of the time, smiling on the outside…but on the inside, lonely and afraid.   Maybe the boyfriend dropped us or the job is not going well or we lost it.   Maybe the children are getting out of control and we don’t have anyone to help us out.  Where do we turn?   Where do we go when we need a time out?     Sometimes it’s important just to be able to admit you feel alone.  If you can say that to someone, immediately things start to change because someone listened.   That’s what Girls’ Night Out is about….offering women the opportunity to talk about things we don’t talk about enough – children, men, disappointments and dreams  in a safe and nurturing environment where we might just meet someone like us or who can support us.  There are no membership fees or requirements.  We only ask that women come and share.

I remember during the peak of my career as a television news anchor in Boston, sometimes I would feel so down, I’d stay in bed all day.  The only thing that got me up and off that ledge was when the ‘I love Lucy’ re-runs ran out and the Sarah Lee Pound Cakes were consumed,  I forced myself to get up and take a walk. That is still one of the ways I heal myself.  There is always something about the fresh air, nature and the movement that made me feel better, closer to God.  That stills works for me now.

My question to you: When you are your most fearful, anxious or depressed, what do you do to get yourself off the ledge?  Let’s talk.


To watch the “Girls’ Night Out 2” that aired on the “Connections” show Monday, Oct. 10 on WCVB-TV Channel 5 Boston press play below.


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A new blog for a new season

As often as I can, I like to ride my bike from my home in Jamaica Plain in a loop that stretches to the Museum of Science. Whether I ride past the bleary eyed commuters crowding into the Starbucks in Brookline village or take a different path filled with late students rushing to classes on the Wheelock Campus, or take a short cut through the court yard at BU’s Marsh Chapel where the air is filled with angelic voices from some choral rehearsal, my rides always reward me with intimate access to the many spirited communities that make Boston so special. Community is such a rich word, full of texture and depth– from its geographical definition, to a group of people with common interests and goals to the more sacred idea of “seeking together.”  While those concepts might seem dated in a culture where creating community more often means driving traffic to your website, they still have tremendous value. In these rapidly changing times, there are far too many messages that leave us feeling isolated and fearful. Anything positive that brings us together, if only for a little while, is a good idea.

The four stories we are preparing for the next Better Living show on October 10th at 7:30 p.m. on WCVB-TV look at how communities are being formed to improve the future of Cambodian teenagers in Lynn, help Charlestown children control their sugar intake and empower Dorchester moms to fight depression.

I have met some pretty amazing people while working on these stories including Tino, an 18 year old former gang banger who was surprised in the discovery of his own leadership abilities and Steve, a gifted Matt Damon look-alike community worker in Charlestown who teases and cajoles kids into healthier eating habits.

All of the people in these stories have come together to form unlikely little communities, bound in their commitment to healthier living…better living.

In this “us against them” “winner take all” individualistic culture in which we live, it is easy to forget the human experience is by nature relational.  We all need communities, for support, understanding and acceptance. When we are bound by common needs and goals, we are strengthened and able to see all kinds of possibilities that we might miss on our own.

They say some of the most powerful groups form in emergencies, when facing catastrophic realities like the World Trade Tower survivors on September 11th, 2001. I would suggest that in many ways, that is exactly what we are facing now, in the epidemics of violence, obesity and depression…hopelessness.  These crises might not directly impact you but they do affect you indirectly.  They affect us all.

The Better Living show on October 10 offers a few tiny slivers of light that may show us a new path to each other.

Join us and please continue to join me here as I share my thoughts on better living with you.


P.S. To watch a preview video of the next Better Living click here.

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