(A genesis story, Part 2)

One of the more fascinating elements of Scripture is the collection of genealogies that appear in both the Old and New Testaments.  Long lists of names that usually get overlooked … I hadn’t given them much heed until I read a commentary by Ray Bakke on Matthew’s Tombstone Tour,” sub-themed “The Grandmothers of Jesus.”  (A Biblical Word for an Urban World, 1999)  Long lists of names never were more enthralling!

By the way, Ray was instrumental in helping a group of church, business, education, agency, and nonprofit leaders develop a ‘Vision for the City’ in a seminal 1995 gathering at The Reed Opera House.  That was followed by a summer 1996 visit by Reid Carpenter of the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, and kick-off dinner (my first day!) in September 1996 featuring Robert Lupton from the Atlanta Resource Foundation.  Ah, names.  Reflecting on SLF’s 25 years, I am reminded of a great many names that bring a smile to my face … and my heart.

For example, that original group of pioneering folks who raised their hands to serve on the inaugural SLF board of directors: Duane Rawlins, Jean Milliken, Pastor Dick Lucco, Dave Lantz, Pastor Rob Anderson, Pam Wittman, Catarino Cavazos, Peter Chamberlain, Pastor Charlie Self, Susan Jones, Grant Foster, John Branch, Martin Barrett, Pastor Morris Dirks, Denny Peseau.  There was also a concentric circle of supporting partners around that first board (I deeply apologize for anyone I miss!):  Gwen & Iral Barrett, Dan & Ruth Johnson, Mary Gerlinger, Dave & Louise Fields, Marge and Loren Lottis, Gayle & Dick Withnell, Les & MaryLou Green, Dave & Ann Lau, Tellelyn & Gordon Peterson, Don & Elinor Oakley, Peter  & Linda Truitt, Gladys & Pete Blum, Steve & Jennifer Outslay, Tom & Kathy Wilson,  Sharon Lawton, Dan & Maggie Porth …

And of course, there’s the amazing roster of staff members who have served on the SLF Team starting in 2001:  Julie Young, Tammy Chatfield, Diane Tucker, Andrew Lane, Carolyn Colburn, Wayne Crowder, Carrie Maheu, Herm Boes, Dave Votaw, Megan Eagleson, Billy Cordero, DJ Vincent, Lindsey Walker, Kaleb Herring, Desiree Hilliard, Kara Maron, Dwayne Hilty, Jennifer Lassahn, Monica Fiedler, Linda Dolar, Zyanya Aguilar-Nelson, Jennifer Skillern, Jennifer Palanuk, Amanda Navarro, Imani Hall, Alexis Smith, Robert Garcia and Rian Rasubala.  Man what a team—and think of all the great things these folks have accomplished during their years after SLF.

Thanks for being willing to walk with me down memory lane the past two months.  I promise we’ll get back to business next month as we plan the next 25 months and the next 25 years.  Exciting things are already in planning.  Hope to “see you” online May 25 – 28 for Fancy 25th!