Starr-struck: Honoring the Rev. Dr. Albert Starr

LSC has been serving elders in the Carolinas since 1960! I’ve always liked the term elder as it denotes respect for the people who showed us the way. LSC lifts up those elders in so many ways, and cares for them in our programs and communities.

The Rev. Dr. Albert Starr was honored on May 6, 2023 with a reception and celebration dinner.  Lutheran Services Carolinas Board Chair Greg Hudgins, a longtime friend of the Starr family attended.  LSC helped sponsor the celebration and I was honored to attend also.

Dr. Starr is a star! He is a Lutheran minister with forty years of service and counting. He started his ministry in the troubled Crenshaw community in Los Angeles, then has served across the country and internationally for the Lutheran church. I have only had the pleasure to work with Dr. Starr through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since about 2009. His work for justice and diversity in the church and across society has been inspirational and a call to action to me and many others across the country. I knew him first through his sisters. Sister Gail and I have been working together for the last twenty years on the N.C. Lutheran African Descent Strategy Team. Sister Valora Starr has served through the national Lutheran church for many years, so we have had the opportunity to work together.  Can you tell I’m Starr-struck?!

Dr. Starr’s celebration was fun and inspiring. The celebration included themes that resonated with the justice and diversity work of Lutheran Services Carolinas, and me personally. Among the first comments made by emcee Rev. CeCee Mills were about Ubuntu and the Pouring of Libations.

Ubuntu is an African word about relationships loosely translated as, “I am, because you are.” We celebrated that we are, because of what Dr. Starr has been doing his whole career.

The pouring of libations is the act of pouring out water, oil, rice, or other on the ground to honor or in memory of elders who have set the standard or gone before us.  We poured libations for Dr. Starr, his mother and father, and many others.

The whole Starr family, Synod Vice President Diana Haywood, NC Lutheran Bishop Tim Smith, Chicago Lutheran Bishop Yehiel Curry, and many others participated in the celebration.

I am blessed to be small part of such a strong and diverse family!