Notes from Tad

Recent writings and talks by our Head of School.



Introduction of the Reverend Becca Stevens
Tad Roach

 

Tad gave this introduction of the Reverend Becca Stevens in Chapel on Wednesday, January 27.

It is an honor to welcome Becca Stevens back to St. Andrew’s. We thank her for making time to share her love, spirit, inspiration, and kindness with us all.
 
We, as a school, want to lead and participate in a movement that rejects what Zadie Smith calls the “virus of contempt” for others and instead embraces human rights, human dignity, and love. 
 
Becca Stevens’ life, work, and ministry shows us the way towards this revolutionary change. 
 
We realize that for far too long our country, our society, our democracy have made bold and idealistic claims of human equality—while at the same time making virulent and systematic exceptions, making distinctions, sanctioning and accepting discrimination, cruelty, and degradation of women, Black and Brown communities, and persecuted religious, ethnic, and LBGTQ groups.
 
The movement towards grace and love and dignity Becca Stevens embraces finds its expression in the ways we see the humanity of every child, adolescent, adult, and senior citizen in our world: it is a movement that asks us to live in proximity, to address and eliminate poverty, and address poverty’s corresponding destruction of health care, nutrition, safety, education, housing, and employment. Ultimately, the movement argues that an enlightened, courageous, and passionate leader like Becca Stevens can show the way, bypass governmental neglect, hostility, and indifference, and change the way we think and care about one another.
 
Her movement awakens us to create communities that embrace deep respect and dignity for every living person—without exception. Her movement calls us to tell the truth about the violence and destruction we have silently accepted and condoned. 
 
As a social reformer, writer, speaker, and courageous witness for human rights, Becca Stevens calls us to lead and live with passion, love, and commitment to others. She ministers to the soul and broken spirit of the world by exposing the devastation of human trafficking and developing creative work and loving sanctuaries for women who are sacred, dignified, and courageous, in response to the suffering they have experienced in their lives. 
 
Whenever I talk to Becca Stevens, listen to her sermons, read her books, I want to be a part of her movement:
 
She “refuses to accept a culture that buys and sells other human beings.”
 
She asserts that “violence against women and trauma do not get the last word—love does.”
 
She leads a “movement of thousands and thousands of women who believe in freedom and economic justice for all women.”

Her work “demystifies prostitution and trafficking so we can have honest conversations about why women walk the streets and what it means to welcome them home.”
 
She believes “love is the strongest force for social change that we have.”
 
As we welcome Becca Stevens tonight, we seek to join her and other courageous leaders in the work of redemptive love and healing.
 
It is after all, our time.
 
The cowardly and empty voices of hatred have had their time on the stage—we have witnessed their carnage everywhere—from Charlottesville to Washington, DC. 
 
Becca Stevens will show us a way of goodness, grace, and love, a way to understand the remnants of all this pain and destruction, and together in turn, build, create, respond in concert.

We are so honored to welcome Becca’s husband Marcus Hummon—Grammy Award-winning and Country Music Hall of Fame singer, composer, and writer, who through his music, confirms the light of hope and love and faith in our lives. 
 
Long ago, I realized that St. Andrew’s as a community and school could join the conversations and movements seeking goodness, change, reform, and enlightenment in our country and world. By joining in the conversation, we could as a school join the movement for human rights and human dignity, and in this way, change our school, our community, the world.
 
In that spirit, we welcome Becca and Marcus as our guides to this transformational work.

 

You can watch or listen to Becca's Chapel Talk here.

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