This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



July 2005

Antoinette Brown Intro for Mom


A few hours ago, I gave the introduction for my mother at an awards ceremony where she was given one of two annual awards given to distinguished women clergy in her denomination. (I blogged about her winning it here.) In the picture are myself, my mother, Rev. John Thomas (the president of the UCC demonination) and Barbara Brown Zikmund (the other 2005 winner).

Here is the introduction I gave:


They told me not to just recite the bio, since you have it here in the pamphlet. So I thought I would just mention one brief thing.

While I was in college, my mother was teaching in a seminary in Mozambique in Southern Africa. One summer during that time, I was able to visit her. Aside from unremembered times from early childhood this was my first real opportunity to see her in that kind of context. In my early 20s coming directly from a fairly sheltered academic life, I must admit I was not fully emotionally prepared for everything I saw and heard. Not only a visit to the third world, but to a location at the time still dramatically affected by an ongoing civil war. The culture shock was extensive, and I still regret today that I was not a little bit older, wiser and better able to appreciate that trip at the time.

But that visit did leave an overwhelming impression on me. Not as much of the place, but of my mother. Here she was, and not for the first time, taking several years of her life, and leaving the familiarities and safety of home, going to a place that was sometimes dangerous, and at all times challenging. Rather than shying away from the difficult things, she has over her life embraced them, and thrived upon them. Brave. Strong. Compassionate. Needing to help those who needed help. Needing to comfort and support those who needed comfort and support. Needing to help in the struggle for justice, where ever it might occur. Above all, her deep love and commitment to the communities she becomes part of, both at home and abroad.

This is the essence of my mother. Throughout my life I have seen this pattern in the choices she has made. Either overseas during her various trips, in a variety of roles earlier in her life, or today as a pastor of a congregation in Massachusetts and a member of this denominationĂ¢â‚¬™s national organizations. She makes herself an integral part of the communities to which she is drawn. Her deep faith grounds her, gives her strength, drives her ministries and moves her to fulfill the missions put in front of her, even when they are extremely difficult.

I am very proud today to be see her receive this award and am greatly honored to introduce my mother, the Reverend Ruth M. Brandon.

It had been a while since I had last done public speaking other than in small groups. A conference I presented at back in 2000 I believe. I was much more nervous this time. Last time was me talking about some general principles of content management with regards to organizing an intranet. This time I was talking about my mother, and it was personal. And it was in front of about 500 women clergy. Or something like that. I was preceeded by a speech from Rev. Dr. Yvonne V. Delk who is quite the orator I must say. Really got the croud going! I was a tad nervous. I was a bit shaky, and stumbled over a word or two, didn’t make proper eye contact with the audience, etc. And a couple times I had to pause for breath to keep from getting too choked up. (Cause I was talking about my mom after all!) And I think toward the end I spoke a little faster than I intended.

But never the less, I got a lot of comments congratulation me on my comments and thanking me and saying they were very well done. Including from my mom, which was of course most important. They are probably being nice to a degree. I know I wasn’t as polished as the professional speakers, but hey, I don’t do it for a living!

I do like it though. Making speeches is fun! Even short 3 minute ones!

And I was indeed especially honored to be able to introduce my mother. I’m very glad she asked me.