The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Garden Work Day and Episcopal Inclusion

There will be a Garden Work Day at Jonesboro Community Garden on Saturday from 8 to 2. The garden will be at the corner of Owen Avenue and Wellington Street in Bessemer. We will be planting a wealth of shrubs and flowers and plants, creating a walking trail, installing benches and more. Please bring gardening gloves, shovels, picks, post-hole diggers, wheel barrows and whatever.

Also, Bobby and I will be cooking hotdogs for everyone. Remember the fun day and good dogs we had at this site last summer. Well, no volleyball this time, but later on in the summer? Who’s in?

The site is a vacant lot today, where a school building and school yard used to be. For those of you not from around here, I will post pictures of the garden as we progress.

Thanks to Vulcan Material Company Foundation for supporting this project in a big way, and thanks to Lawson State and the Bessemer Board of Education, and the City of Bessemer. And thanks especially to the Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association and Erica Young in particular, for leading this effort.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Episcopal Church and Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori’s predicament regarding the ultimatum put forth by the conservative Anglican bishops to cease confirming openly gay bishops and to not bless same sex unions. Episcopal Bishops rejected this ultimatum and affirmed their support for gays, and rejected a key demand that they give up some of their authority to theological conservatives outside the U.S. church.

The bishops released a message yesterday, part of which said, “Finally, we believe that the leaders of the Church must always hold basic human rights and the dignity of every human being as fundamental concerns in our witness for Christ. We were, therefore, concerned that while the Communiqué focuses on homosexuality, it ignores the pressing issues of violence against gay and lesbian people around the world, and the criminalization of homosexual behavior in many nations of the world.”

The fact that the dissenting bishops are focusing on the way people are created rather than how those people are treated bring this verse (Titus 3: 9-11) to mind:

But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

My tip of the bishop’s hat today goes to the Episcopal Bishops who are standing up with integrity and strength against the bullying bishops of the minority. And who are more interested in continuing to do the work of ministering to those in need rather than judging and excluding part of the church community.

And speaking of inclusion, the Birmingham City Council is set to adopt (hopefully) a resolution next week affirming the inclusive policy of the city and celebrating its diversity. The resolution condemns racism and homophobia, and calls for swift investigation of acts against people on the basis of race and sexuality. This resolution is being introduced by Valerie Abbot and is sponsored in part by Equality Alabama and the National League of Cities and their “Partnership For Working Toward Inclusive Communities.” If you are interested in reading the entire resolution email me and I will forward it to you.
To support this effort show up at 9:30 am on March 27 at the City of Birmingham City Council chambers, third floor of city hall, 710 North 20th Street.

Would this type of initiative fly in Bessemer? Let's find out.

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