Rev. Claire Matheny is a United Methodist pastor serving as the Enabling Minister of Kittamaqundi Community Church in Columbia, Maryland.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Claire helped shepherd 32 Baltimore-Washington area sojourners to her hometown in April of 2018 for the 50th anniversary of MLK’s assassination. In preparation, she collaborated with The Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church to produce the The Jericho Road, a Lenten guide linking Dr. King’s writings and Scripture with devotions.
Central to the guide was the Good Samaritan parable, which takes place on the precarious route between Jerusalem and Jericho. Dr. King highlighted this parable most notably in his final speech on April 3, 1968, as he rallied Memphis sanitation workers. He had an acute awareness of the “dangerous road” that he was on and of the steep sacrifice required for those wishing to see the American landscape of racial injustice repaved with promise.
This blog originally served as a companion to the Memphis sojourners, providing resources for the journey. It now invites ongoing engagement on issues of justice. As a newcomer to Columbia, Maryland, Claire is learning the social, geographical, and spiritual map of the 1967 planned community. She brings her Southern roots and Methodist sensibilities to the wild and wonderful landscape of interfaith Columbia.
She prays each day that efforts toward wokeness can transform the melanomas of whiteness. With a deep respect of the Church of the Saviour, she partners alongside the rebels of Kittamaqundi Community Church. She pursues spiritual growth through contemplative practice and social action. Claire relies upon education, art, and prayer to ground her on the rocky Jericho Road of our current moment. This is where she routinely meets Jesus.
“I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme…”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech