REV. JAYE BROOKS
I was raised on the Chesapeake Bay by parents who love both water and wilderness. My ancestors were voyageurs, freethinkers, immigrants, revolutionaries. My spirituality is grounded in the beauty of the natural world and a feeling of connection to all that is. With a background in law and international development, I’ve had the opportunity to work with diverse people in multicultural settings to create positive change. The greatest adventures of my life have happened when I was open to new experiences.
Together with my children, Jamie and Kevin, I’m part of a “United Nations family” (Asian-American, African-American, and European-American) (my children are both adopted). Our dinner-table conversations as they grew involved my children’s personal experiences with racism and racial identity; we talked about morality, ethics, rights, responsibilities, and the risks of stereotypes and assumptions. Their perspectives have shaped my own and have reinforced my commitment to creating justice in the world.
The colorful tapestry of my life informs and energizes my work as a parish minister. I’ve learned the importance of treating people with respect, listening carefully, and trying to spot the way that different “perception filters” create misunderstanding. The most satisfying moment is when people who see things differently begin to understand one another. It may not cause them to agree, but it keeps them working together; keeps them moving toward compassion. Life is a journey, and we’re all traveling in the same “blue boat home.”
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