“The Call Changes” by Roy Barber

April 28, 2019

The Second Sunday of Easter

Roy Barber summarizes how his sense of call has changed throughout his life:

The Call Changes.  What’s next.   I spoke about discovering CALL during turbulent times in race torn. Memphis in the late 60’s–crossing over and creating music with “forbidden” children in hidden places. In college I became a part of a touring reader’s theater group WORDMASTERS which performed moral/political work interpreting great literature- to help untangle Vietnam War, Sexuality, and civil right’s struggles for young people.  As a theater major I experienced the Word becoming Flesh in these performances.  I discussed the role of the director Edwina Snyder in helping me find “Call” by letting go of dysfunctional attachments and opening my hand to spiritual gifts that would pull me forward into the world of healing through Art. Seeker’s became a part of my forward movement- Sonya Dyer and Marjory Bankson gave me encouragement to pursue my growing edge which brought me to Bokamoso and Maryann Carpenter.  I found freedom in this call which drew on everything I loved, and helped me see that the gifts I brought to the table were not mine- but were blessings I received by saying “yes” to call.

I was a kind of door between my spiritual community here and my South African work.  After 25 years when I was ready to let go, the work was eagerly received by others and continues.  In retirement I have had the joy to participate in Retrospectives of the work Leslie Jacobson and I did for 30 years here in Washington, and have seen April continue to work in South Africa, and initiate new projects in the field of Theater for Social Change. Her voice is still a joy to hear.  I have discovered that I am right at my spiritual home in directing singing for several Parkinson’s  choirs. Elese has joyfully joined in.  We create family through music.   I start my day at 7AM in my favorite AA group and sponsor several people.  I  have learned that I heal through opening my vulnerabilities- and  receiving  help from others who have been wounded- I understand Doubting Thomas.  Prayer is one drunk talking to another.  We never have to be alone.

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