One thing that was strongly emphasized at Duke Divinity School by my New Testament professor, Dr. C. Kavin Rowe, was that Christian knowledge ultimately consists in discipleship. Knowing Jesus entails following him. And we need others to show us the way. These words crossed my mind today, as my supervisor at the North Carolina Council of Churches, Farmworker Advocacy Network veteran Chris-Liu Beers, celebrated his last day at the Council. An advocate for immigrant justice, farmworker rights, and the dignity of the most vulnerable members of our society, Chris will be dearly missed throughout FAN as well as at the Council.
Chris, in a sense, showed me something of discipleship. A way to connect my faith with the world. An orientation toward compassion and justice. A way to invest of one’s self for the good of others. Besides his tireless dedication to advocacy in North Carolina as an outpouring of his faith, I will always be grateful to Chris for connecting me with farmworker justice through the Council and FAN, where I will continue volunteering after the conclusion of my internship. There is, as ever, much work to be done. But may we all become such dedicated disciples. It should be no surprise that I was led to farmworkers and farmworker issues by following a disciple such as Chris.
Thank you, Chris, for your leadership. May God be with you in your new endeavors.