Saturday, August 31, 2013

Out and About – Summer 2013

I suppose, strictly speaking, the wonderful time I spent in Pahá Sápa, which is the Lakota name for that part of North America also known as the Black Hills, did not actually occur in the summer but rather at the end of spring. Regardless, I consider my time there from June 7-13 as marking the beginning of summer for me this year.

I traveled to Pahá Sápa with my friends Kathleen, Joey and Will (pictured with me at left at Mount Rushmore).

Highlights of our time in the Black Hills included the White River Badlands, Custer State Park (above), and the opportunity to experience the places and landscapes associated with the Oglala Lakota warrior and mystic Tȟašúŋke Witkó ('His-Horse-Is-Crazy' or 'His-Horse-Is-Spirited,' generally known as Crazy Horse. (See, for example, here and here.)

I actually haven't finished my Wild Reed series documenting my time in the Black Hills. But to begin viewing the five installments of the series that I have posted, click here.

Above: Catholics celebrating marriage equality march in this year's Twin Cities Pride parade – June 30, 2013.

As in previous years the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM) and its Catholics for Marriage Equality MN (C4ME-MN) initiative had a booth in Loring Park throughout the duration of the Twin Cities Pride festival (June 29-30). This year, given the recent advances in marriage equality at both the state and federal levels, we distributed colorful "Catholics Celebrating Marriage Equality!" stickers. These stickers proved to be very popular. We also invited those who visited our booth to complete a questionnaire so as to help us discern the future direction and focus of CPCSM.

For more images and commentary on the Catholic presence at this year's Twin Cities Pride celebrations, click here.

For images and commentary on "Worldwide Gay Pride 2013," click here.

Above: With State Senator Scott Dibble and State Senator Patricia Torres Ray at DignityUSA's 2013 National Convention in Minneapolis (July 4-7). All three of us were honored at the conference's opening ceremony for our "prophetic leadership in achieving marriage equality in Minnesota."

For more images and commentary on this event, click here.

Above: My friends Liana and Curtis, at whose July 5, 2013 wedding I officiated. Since it was the first time I've served as a wedding celebrant, I made sure to dress in a way that was as special as the occasion (left)!

Following is the transcript of my welcoming remarks.

On behalf of Liana and Curtis and their families, I welcome you to this very special and happy event. My name is Michael Bayly and I’ve been privileged to know Curtis and Liana for almost four years. I’m honored to have been asked to officiate at their wedding.

Each of us gathered this afternoon in this beautiful garden know Liana and Curtis in different ways. But no matter how we know them, whether as family or friends, one thing is very clear: we have before us a couple deeply committed to one another and to a future life together.

You only have to spend a short amount of time in Curtis and Liana's presence to recognize and experience the very best aspects of what it means to be in a relationship. Theirs is a relationship grounded in love, respect, and a deep sense of connection and shared purpose. They want to be together for the rest of their lives. Indeed, neither can imagine spending their life without the other.

Another sign of the goodness and vitality of their relationship is that it inspires. Here are some inspiring things about Curtis and Liana’s relationship that I’ve observed:

• First, Liana and Curtis know that being in relationship is like being on a journey – a journey full of both wonder and challenge. They’re committed to sharing this journey together.

• They know that listening and learning from one another’s ideas and interests will help keep their relationship growing strong.

• They are open to being pushed beyond their comfort zones and changed in ways that ensure a life together of ever-unfolding beauty and deepening commitment.

• They know that what they have together is precious, the best thing in their lives. They value each other and their relationship above all else and are committed to finding ever-new ways of being in love with one another.

As many of us would recognize, these are all signs of a good and healthy relationship – a relationship that we are formalizing today in this marriage ceremony. Your presence here today is your commitment to honor and support this marriage, the two people who embody it, and the many expressions of life and love that will grow from it. Thank you for being here. Thank you for your love and support.

Right: My friends John and Noelle, the happy parents of the bride.

Above: Noelle, Curtis, and Liana. They are laughing at a humorous story shared by Liana's dad, John, during his father-of-the-bride speech and toast (left).

Above: My friend Phil (Liana's brother) with his mother Noelle,
Nicole, Steven, and Kelly.

Above: Madeleine, Fred, and Jackie.

Right: Nicole and Phil.

Above: Eric, Noelle, and Nathanial.

Above: Liana's sister Alicia and her husband James, who were married
in June 2011 in the same St. Paul garden as Liana and Curtis!

Above: With my good friend and housemate Tim
at Liana and Curtis' wedding reception in Minneapolis.

On the evening of Tuesday, July 9, I had the honor of hosting an evening of conversation and camaraderie that brought together some very inspiring people. Special guests at this gathering were Sr. Jeannine Gramick (above, third from left) and Francis DeBernardo (right, center) from the national organization New Ways Ministry. In addition, there was a number of local Catholics who for many years and in a variety of ways have advocated for and ministered with LGBT Catholics and their families and friends. Many of those gathered had worked to defeat last year's proposed 'marriage amendment.'

For more about this special gathering, click here.

Above: At the Grand Hotel in downtown Minneapolis with friends and fellow CPCSM board members Lisa Vanderlinden, Mary Beckfeld, Cheryl Maloney, and Brent Vanderlinden.

Above: Friends Tim and Angela.

Left: With my friends Tim and Kathleen.

These photos were taken at Minneapolis' Memory Lanes and Flashback Cafe on Saturday, June 23, 2013.

Above: A lovely photo of my friends Eric and Nathanial by Minnehaha Creek in south Minneapolis – July 6, 2013. The couple were guests at my home, having traveled from Chicago to the Twin Cities for Liana and Curtis' wedding (see above). Regular readers might recall that in August 2012, when I traveled with friends John, Noelle, Curtis, Liana, and Phil to Chicago, we stayed with Nathanial.

Above: A photo that Nathanial took of me when he, Christopher and I enjoyed a walk along Minnehaha Creek on the morning of Saturday, July 6, 2013.

Above: I attended two weddings this summer (though only officiated at the first of these!). The second wedding I attended was of my friends Bob and John, who were married in Decorah, Iowa on Thursday, July 18, 2013.

Above: Friends Brian, Bob, Beth, and Cory – Decorah, Iowa, July 18, 2013.

Above: A charming photo of Bob and John opening their wedding gifts.

Above: With my friend Brian at Bob and John's wedding reception – July 18, 2013.

Right: Back in Minneapolis with friends Tim, Brett, Lisa, and Robin on the evening of July 31, just hours before civil marriage became legal for same-sex couples. We're pictured attending "Married at Midnight: Minnesota's Largest Wedding Reception," an event hosted by the Wilde Roast Cafe in Minneapolis.

For more images and commentary on this historic moment in Minnesota history, click here.

Above: My friend Joan, with whom I traveled to the Bayfield Peninsula and spent three very relaxing days in early August.

For more images and commentary, click here.

Above: Once again by Minnehaha Creek. Of course, it's not only the creek that I enjoy but also the Greenwood!

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Out and About – Spring 2013
Out and About – Winter-Spring 2013
The End of a Very Long Winter


Terry Nelson said...

Michael, are you still Catholic? I ask since you officiated at a wedding. Are you a minister? Just asking.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Hi, Terry! Yes, I'm still Catholic. I obtained my license to officiate at weddings but don't intend to make a habit of doing so. I did it this one time as my friends really wanted me to officiate at their wedding. It wasn't a Catholic wedding, obviously.

I know other Catholics – including some nuns – who have the necessary credentials to officiate at weddings.



Terry Nelson said...

Thanks - I wasn't sure.