How Do I Know God
February 5, 2020
God inspired me to write this poem in Anne Ritchings and Kay Hankinson's Epiphany Wellspring series on a contemplative approach to reading poetry. The poem I wrote in response to was Mary Oliver's Some Questions You Might Ask. The prompt was, "Write a poem that asks your own questions, ending with a line that starts 'and what about..." Here is what I was given to write.
How Do I Know God
Is God light? Penetrating
like the sun on a bright day?
Is God that sweet feeling
in my middle heart and stomach
that aches and longs for love?
Is God the bread and wine
given for our pain and need
that draws us together into one body?
God answers YES!
and more! and more!
and I love you. So
Go out in love
to tell the world.
Go to the darkest places.
Greet the ones who live there.
Ask them who God is.
It felt like a blessing and a charge.
- The Rev. Carol Duncan, deacon
Epiphany with Mary Oliver and Maya Angelou
The Rev. Carol Duncan
The Rev. Carol Duncan (she/her) attended the Shipley School and William Smith College in Geneva NY, majoring in English Lit. After school, she moved to Canton, Ohio to run the remnants of a family business.
She married her husband Bob, who was Vice President Smyth Systems, a data processing firm specializing in country club and golf tournament systems. Their daughter Christie was born in 1968, Kate in 1973.
At St. Paul’s Canton she served on the vestry and as a church school teacher. With the Diocese of Ohio she served on the Peace and Justice Commission. She received the Betty Leo award for outstanding social justice work.
In 1988 she became the Housing Development Coordinator of ICAN Housing Solutions, a non-profit that developed permanent supportive housing for the homeless living with mental illness. She served as president of the board of Coalition for Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO), a nationally respected homeless advocacy organization.
She was ordained to the Diaconate in 1996. Her first parish was Trinity Alliance. In 2000 she returned as Deacon at her home parish St Paul’s where she served until 2011. Bob died in 2009. She retired from ICAN and moved to Philadelphia in September 2011. Her daughter Christie Duncan-Tessmer is General Secretary of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
Carol is Co-Chair of the Economic Dignity Team of Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER). Its primary campaign is to create Philly solutions for Philly Poverty. A main thrust is to raise the minimum wage to $15 while supporting local businesses. Carol also serves on City Council’s Living Wage Committee and on the boards of Deaconess House Foundation, Teen UpRise, and Friends of the Chestnut Hill Library.