Public Witness

Adventures in Mexico

Allison Tanner

September 8, 2022

Painting displayed in the National Museum of History at the Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City

It’s hard to put into words the experiences of sacred travel: being immersed in another culture, being dependent on the kindness of strangers, learning from inspiring people you will likely never meet again, and connecting with a much larger world. Mexico is our Southern neighbor, yet so much of its richness was unknown or unexplored to me. During Sunday’s Forum, I will share stories and photos and insights from my travels. We will gather in the sanctuary at 11:45, or via my personal zoom (link provided in Sunday’s email). For now, here are few reflections.

My travels to Mexico were a restorative mix of cleansing and connection – cleansing from stresses of pandemic and politics and pain, connection to creation and community and care. I was grateful to have space to be my myself: to think and pray and delight in daily life. I was grateful to have time to practice my Spanish, eager to start fresh every morning even if I was certain to be brain-weary by nightfall. I was grateful to meet people and explore my surroundings and enjoy beauty and learn history. I was grateful to be reminded of the amazing power of love and life – against the backdrop of so much struggle.

While in Mexico, I had opportunities to meet women (and a few men) working to heal the earth, creating communities of interconnection, providing shelter and resources for immigrants, empowering women, living in solidarity with indigenous communities, reconnecting with ancestral traditions, and ministering to the needs of their community in a variety of creative, life-giving ways.

These days of adventure and moments of joy and encounters with creative resistance were healing for my weary soul. I carry with me the lessons learned and the courage and kindness I encountered. I feel cleansed and connected – a nice place to be as I return to the work of Public Witness.

It is good to be back home and back at church and back to work. It is good to be planning for the fall and discerning the work that is before us. It is good to carry with me my adventures and encounters and learnings as I integrate them into what it means for us to love our community, work for justice and represent Lakeshore beyond the walls of the church.

Thank you, Lakeshore, for granting me this opportunity to study Spanish and practice self-care. It is a privilege I will cherish for years to come. Join me on Sunday to hear more!

Peace, Pastor Allison