DEAR LORD, PLEASE BLESS US! (…and keep it coming, will ya??)
Just as strong as the catechism notion of the God Above is the notion of the God Among and the God Within (AKA – THE TRINITY).
A few months ago, I had asked our “Dear Father Ken Vineyard Board” (my St. Bede 1968 classmates who started this FKV foundation to support my ministries) for some money.
“What for?” they asked.
“To throw a party for 400 people!”
Yes, 400 on-the-street Christians and laypeople who truly work with the marginalized of our society and of the world!
WELL, I LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER.
On June 4 around 400 people…including charity workers, aid workers, healthcare providers, priests, sisters, community organizers, volunteers, donors, and Vineyard board members…gathered at an event hosted by FKV at the Casa Italiana, which is part of the parish of St. Peter’s Italian Catholic Church in LA.
On a march against trafficking, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit (She is always at work!) to throw an appreciation party for those in my hood who serve the Lord by attending to the poor, the incarcerated, deportation-anxious immigrants, runaways, those enslaved by human trafficking, adopters of traumatized children and gang members looking for a way out through education and jobs.
My God, it was a BASH!! A huge blast! But more than that, it was an awareness-raising, friend-making, eye-opening, confab that allowed 400 people to begin the walk down a common path for the benefit of an entire community.
Along with these people, my own awareness was broadened ten times over by meeting new cultures of care that need our help. One representative from each group in attendance, about 30, came to the microphone to speak about their work. There was an emanation of joy and hope from this ecumenical gathering that all will recognize as the Christ who is drawn to “the lepers in our midst” and that it is in giving that we receive.
It really is true you know! It was a good reminder to look up from our devices and get out into the world and actually “Go in peace to serve the Lord TO one another.” I look only to those who seek Ultimate Good (which we Christians call God the Father) to bring goodness and comfort into the world. As we are the recipients of kindness, it is important to share that kindness with our fellow wounded brothers and sisters. Only then can we become Wounded-Healers instead of Wounded-Wounders.
We held this event on Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of our Church Community. What better reason to bring together all of these people who literally serve Christ to the poor who are the Christ suffering today?! Our deep appreciation to the Scalabrini brothers who really went first class in putting this event together.
Join our gathering next year to honor and celebrate the hands and hearts of God in our world. We are networking for peace!
I am proud of the work we are doing, but aware that so much work still has yet to be done. I hope to continue that work with your help. We have started that process by reimbursing some of the costs of community priests and nuns who do this work on the street. Because when people come together we can learn from each other and do the most good.