.Max Niedzwiecki ~ November 24, 2010
I love Thanksgiving. Food, family and fun are all great parts, but the most important part of the holiday for me is that it helps me refocus. I have worked as an activist for the past two decades or so – for refugees, immigrants, and now the LGBT community – and my work focuses a lot on the future, what needs to change about the church and the world, especially the call to live into Jesus’ commandment to put love before all else. Those of us who are activists find ourselves constantly “fighting the good fight,” looking forward, not always cued into the present moment. Except during Thanksgiving. That's when I take a deep breath, refocus and give thanks for what just is.
Here’s a short list of what I am thankful for:
• The thousands of Integrity members I have begun to meet, and excitement about what we will achieve together
• Louie Crew, who founded Integrity in 1974 and continues to inspire so many
• Hope and confidence that the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music’s work will bring us a new edition of Enriching Our Worship in 2012, and the blessing of same-sex relationships in every diocese
• Ice cream
• The Grace that makes it possible for us to embrace people who are “different”
• John Clinton Bradley, Integrity’s Administrator
• My friends and family, who love me even when that’s not easy
• My new puppy, Dewey, who woke me up at 4:00 a.m. by kissing my nose
• My home church, St. Anna’s in New Orleans
• My growing bond with the transgender community
• The ministries of Bishops Gene Robinson, Mary Glasspool, and all of the LGBT bishops yet to come
• Straight people who show God’s love to all kinds of people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity
• Integrity’s dedicated board members, Provincial Coordinators, Diocesan Organizers, and other fantastic volunteers
• The fact that you don’t have to be a straight, celibate man to be an Episcopal priest
• Bishop Christopher Senyonjo’s bravery in standing up for the basic rights of all people in Uganda despite great hardships
• The fact that understanding the Bible literally is not an Episcopal tradition
• Meeting the love of my life just over 23 years ago
What are you thankful for this season? Write a comment on this blog or email us and we'll post it for you.
Happy Thanksgiving one and all!