This past Saturday was the day of the annual Gay Pride parade here in Rochester. I'm very happy to tell you that four churches marched together: Mary Magdalene Church had a car with balloons and people throwing candy, Spiritus Christi and Immanuel Baptist had big banners, and Saint Romero's had ...me, because I didn't think to organize anything. Maybe next year. I was so glad that we were all walking together!
Other churches were there as well: First Unitarian, Lake Avenue Baptist, a big group of Episcopalians, and others. My daughter Bridget watched the parade and said, "The churches just kept on coming!" That's the way it should be! The Democrat and Chronicle pointed out that the church people in the parade way outnumbered the protesters in the block between East and University, carrying signs with Bible verses and yelling things like, "You're all going to hell!" I love that nobody lets that ruin the day.
Today, July 19, is the anniversary of the beginning of the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848. It was over 70 years before women got the right to vote. How discouraged those suffragettes must have been, sometimes. The civil rights movement, too, took a long time. And we all know that legal rights, civil rights, the right to marriage - these things are great progress but they don't end prejudice. There is still racism, sexism, homophobia, other ways that we try to hold each other back. But like Martin Luther King said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice" - I know I quote that a lot, but it's true!!
This week we heard the parable of the weeds and the wheat. Did you ever notice that the parable starts out, "The kingdom of heaven is like a field..." That is, the kingdom of heaven isn't the part at the end where the wheat and weeds get separated. It's all along, right now, right here, the weeds and the wheat all together. The kingdom of God is right here in the mess of it! And the kingdom of heaven was marching down the street here in Rochester this past Saturday, joyfully celebrating, singing, throwing candy. It was marvelous.
Last week we successfully brought cookies to the migrant Mass, without losing them to any enterprising raccoons. This week Rachael offered to make cookies for us, even though she can't come to the Mass. That gave me an idea. Have you been wanting to come with us but not been able? Would you like to bake cookies for us to bring some week? Let me know! Also, Karen and Mike Reimringer donated some camp chairs. If we had about six more there would be enough for everyone to sit down. Do you have an unused camp chair you'd like to donate? Still looking for a camping tarp, as well. Hooray for our Masses! They are a joy.
Enjoy these hot summer days. Relish every breeze, every glass of ice water. Rest as much as you can. It's a great time of year for ice cream, too!
Blessings and love to all,
All summer long, there is a car wash in the St Joe's parking lot on Saturdays and Sundays from 9-5 as part of the St Joe's Employment Training Program. Come get your car washed! Recommended donations are $5-10 for outside cleanings, $20 for inside and out. Give your car some TLC, and help our guys earn some cash and learn some job skills!
Friday, July 22 at 7pm, the Center for Sustainable Living will present a dvd on Thomas Berry at St Joe¹s, followed by a talk and discussion led by Tim McGowan.
You are welcome to join us for Mass, any Sunday. We would love to see you!
Oscar Romero Church
An Inclusive Church in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11am
St Joseph's House of Hospitality, 402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14620