Today I had the fantastic opportunity to join my coworker Rox Ann at the Zion Preparatory Academy's annual fundraiser breakfast. The speaker was the one and only legendary James Earl Jones, who spoke on the topic of culture. He was erudite, funny and absolutely riveting. When he quoted the 23rd Psalm, the air in the room suddenly congealed and we were all transported to another place in our brains, where there is only image and desire and simplicity. He was extraordinary.
Zion is a Christian school with an urban, Afro centric history founded by Bishop Eugene Drayton of the Zion United House of Prayer in Seattle. I have participated in several Zion Prep events, and have always felt extremely comfortable and welcome. In fact, I feel more comfortable at the Zion teacher appreciation dinner than at my own office's Christmas party.
What is notable about the people of Zion is their Christian message. They smile, they're warm, they embrace. They don't judge, condemn and strike out. When Pastor Drayton leads in prayer, I can feel the holy spirit, an element missing in many of the so-called religious discussions I read or hear. It is a good feeling, encompassing; good and right and loving.