My name is Nansi Hawkins. I wasn’t raised in the church, but when I was at the University of Washington doing my undergraduate studies, I encountered the God who would not let me go, and was baptized. In response, I started my lifelong study of Comparative Religion. While studying the Hebrew Scriptures at the university, I learned a work which resonated with my experience of God: Chesed. It means “steadfast love,” the love which will not let us go.
God’s love will never let us go.
Chesed is the foundation of covenant as I understand it. I/we will stand by each other faithfully in steadfast love, not because we agree, not because we have a common background, age, orientation, gender, race or ability… but because we are sisters and brothers in God, who stands by us unconditionally. In this steadfast love, we recognize that personal and institutional sin is real; we recognize, personally and institutionally, that we are accountable to the Love which has been revealed to us; and we recognize that there is a Love that will see us through no matter what.
I’ve been a pastor since 1987, serving in Philadelphia, Seattle, and Wisconsin. I’ve been at Emmanuel UCC since 2004, and call it the best church I’ve ever had the privilege of serving. I’m married to Dick Hawkins, a retired Episcopal priest, get to be the mother of a vivacious and spunky Millennial named Caitlin. And I know myself to be deeply blessed by a God who will not let any of us go.
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Nansi Hawkins