The month of June was a busy time in my family’s life.  We started with the excitement of Annual Conference and closed the month by sending our Brazilian daughter, Lorena, (a young lady who was an exchange student in our home this last year) back to Brazil.  What fun it has been to watch the Brazil Soccer team play in the FIFA World Cup games!

June also found Lisa (my daughter), Lorena and myself in Washington DC and New York City.  Lisa wanted to visit Gallaudet University as she anticipates graduating from high school next year (2019) and Lorena wanted to connect with a group, Pro Vida, that she is a part of in Brazil that was meeting in New York- so we took a trip!

When we were in Washington DC, I was in awe of how nice people were.  When you spoke with persons you didn’t know what language was their native tongue.  When you met someone, you didn’t know if they lived in the US or were just visiting.  When you met someone, you didn’t know if they were having a good day or a bad day- or what the life circumstances were that brought them to the same place you were in-  but everyone was so nice and so helpful!  It was awesome!

And the hotel we stayed in, Ivy City- did not appear to be in the best part of town.  I chose it because it was close to Gallaudet; it was reasonably priced and appeared clean and nice in the online photos.  When we arrived, it was a rainy day and I took a deep breath-  I guess I was hoping it would be better than its price.  The next day it was sunny, Lisa and I walked to Gallaudet and I was amazed!  As I got to know the people caring for the hotel and to walk around the neighborhood, I experienced a place that was trying to take positive steps forward to be a more beautiful, safe and welcoming space.  It was pretty awesome what a little sleep and sunshine could do for my perspective.

The people in Washington DC- were wonderful!  And my hope for humanity was renewed.

Simple words from Zechariah 7:9-10 welcomed me, “The word of the Lord came to Zechariah saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts:  Render true judgements, show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.”

And the words from Hebrews 13:1-2 give me courage, “Let mutual love continue.  Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some of you have entertained angels without knowing it.”

 I know that Washington DC is not a perfect place-  I also know that the United Methodist Church and your faith community are not perfect.  I also know that there is amazing life and hope in the God that we serve who calls us to treat each other and to love each other with compassion.

June is gone and July is here!  We are officially the Northern Waters District.  As we grow into making a difference in our communities may people who meet us see how we are seeking to engage our future with hope and leave our spaces (our presence) with their faith in humanity renewed and their passion for God restored.

Welcome to the Northern Waters District!  May God’s love and grace abound.

Anita K. Hahn