Every year, Friends in Deed (FID), an interfaith organization in Pasadena whose mission is to serve our most vulnerable neighbors, hosts an annual fundraiser called “Jazz on the Green” at Castle Green. This year, they will be hosting it virtually as “Jazz on the Screen” and at its closing live presentation on Saturday, August 29, Bishop Beverly Shamana will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award not only with her service to FID as a board director but also with the United Methodist Church and other social justice issues that she was passionate about.
It is so easy to talk about the accomplishments of Bishop Beverly Shamana. The hard part is to do in one minute or so. Bishop Shamana is truly a Renaissance person in the classical understanding: Scholar, Writer-Author, Artist, Musician, Leader, Administrator – the descriptors continue on and on. I have known Beverly for many years as we started as colleagues in the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. She was elected to the Episcopacy in 2000 and assigned to the California-Nevada Annual Conference for 8 years. We became Episcopal colleagues when I was elected in 2012.
I have always admired Beverly because of her God-given gifts. She is first-rate musician and artist and her accomplishments are widely known across the church. She is a gifted preacher and teacher. Her natural leadership abilities have always shined through whatever role or assignment she took on in the church. Many years ago, I was at a crossroads in my own career, as I was torn over serving the church or the academy by teaching at a seminary. I asked Beverly for a coaching session before coaching was even popular. She gladly accepted and led me to a helpful direction in the future. What I remember so vividly is her nonjudgmental grace. She both accepted and affirmed me, and this is how she treats everyone whom she meets.
If you would like to contribute to Friends in Deed, please send contributions to Cal-Pac Annual Conference. Their programs include the Food Pantry, Street Outreach, Homelessness Prevention, and The Women’s Room.
I consider it an honor and gift to know and love Bishop Beverly Shamana!
Be the Hope,
Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop