We Found Ourselves, Abiding

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About 6 weeks ago, the community I serve decided to rise to a challenge–to have a Cinco de Mayo celebration on our campus.  It started out that this was going to be another fundraiser; we have been under such intense pressure to hold our own financially.  From the first planning meeting, though, the focus shifted. Yes, we would do our best to earn some money.  But this was about learning to work together on a major project.  It meant working across languages, across cultures, across divides between the old and new, and across generations.  More than anything it was about hospitality.  We rose to the challenge and found ourselves as a parish that abides.  We abide with each other, we abide with our neighborhood.

The whole day had the feel of a small-town fair.  We weren’t very glamorous or fancy or sophisticated.  The food was good. No alcohol but some dancing. The weather was absolutely perfect.  It was mellow and gentle and kind with delicious children everywhere–children who paid 25 cents to whack at piñatas and run in Tostito races.  The children’s chorus sang and then most of those same children danced to everyone’s delight and pride. There had been good planning so there weren’t a bunch of hitches or problems.  We laughed a lot and as things wound down, as far as I could tell, those who had worked most actively seemed to still like each other.  Our emerging thrift shop was open and we had a steady flow of people who came to eat some taquitos and tostadas and chili hotdogs.  We’ll have the final counting on Monday but it seems that we actually cleared about $1300 along the way.

There was this one moment of almost mystical joy for me.  I had one of our babies in my arm and realized I had to help one of our aging parishioners whose eye sight has failed to move from one place to the other.  The picture my spouseman took of me is not very flattering, but it goes to the very best of what it means to be a parish priest.  Tomorrow I preach from John 14–all about abiding love, abiding peace.  Makes my head spin to have caught a glimpse of all that today…

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2 thoughts on “We Found Ourselves, Abiding

  1. I loved seeing you carry the baby and leading the elderly. I found it to be a great picture. So many of our pictures are staged with our grinning faces – this one said life. I miss you girl…

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