in february of 2016, becca was invited to speak at the consortium of endowed episcopal churches (ceep) conference. this honor included the opportunity to take part in a gathering that featured amazing theologians and faith leaders of our times: bishop michael curry, noah bullock, lisa kimball, and miroslav volf. in the wake of this powerful gathering, becca sent a note of gratitude to the conference organizations, speaking truth to power and celebrating the journey of ebony, our whole foods account manager:
Dear friends of CEEP,
It was an honor for Thistle Farms to be invited this year to Denver. At the closing Eucharist I preached about wilderness. I reminded us that if you know the way out, it's not wilderness, it's a hike. Wilderness is the place where we don't pray what we believe, but what we hope to believe.
I told a story about Ebony, one of the graduates' daughters, who is now Thistle Farms' Whole Foods sales representative and works with her mom and a team of survivors.
When Ebony was little she was in the wilderness for years and one day I remember a counselor asking all the women to draw a dream. ebony whispered, "draw a house, momma."
When she was asked to speak in front of the entire Whole Foods staff in CA this past week she was scared. She asked me what should she say.
In the sermon I talked for a few minutes about what I thought she should say. She could tell them about the wilderness and how Jerusalem may be closer than we think--that she is a witness that love heals---that every product they sell opens a path for more women---that the story of abuse and violence is our story. Then I asked for your prayers.
Well, on March 10th, Ebony took the stage and every region and store wept with her. She spoke her truth through a shaky voice, and we will increase our stores by 300 come Christmas 2016. I want to thank you all for your prayers and all the love and leadership the Episcopal Church has shown to women who have wandered way too long in the wilderness.
I am so so grateful.