As Mary Schaefer preached during our first Conference liturgy in 1975: "Advent is the season for prophets: people who wait in the darkness and long for the dawn, people who hear God speak in their wilderness and stammer out that message to all who will hear ..."
 
I believe it is quite poignant that we will celebrate our 45th anniversary not only on Thanksgiving weekend, a time when we express our gratitude to the hearts and hands that offer us home and nourishment, but also the First Sunday of Advent, a time of deep anticipation and hope.
 
Together, may we give thanks to those visionary and courageous members of the first organizing task force, who gathered in Detroit - filled with anticipation - to claim their sacramental equality. They embarked on a journey that we continue today, sometimes in the wilderness, always in hope, and with an unwavering love for justice. 
 
I hope next weekend (November 27-30) is an opportunity for all those who have broken bread at the table of justice and found strength along the way to share in our collective successes as we prophetically persist, joyfully resist, and model a renewed priesthood in the world.