Thursday, April 12, 2018

Out and About – Winter 2017-2018

Well, the spring equinox may have been and gone but we're still experiencing wintry weather here in Minnesota. In fact, winter storm is forecast for this weekend, with the Hennepin County Emergency Management issuing a warning that "all precipitation types are likely . . . including heavy rain, freezing rain, snow, and strong winds." In response, the hospital where I work has issued a statement that includes the following: "Predictions vary, but the worst case scenario includes a foot of snow, ice accumulations, widespread tree damage, and power outages." (4/14/18 Update: The Spring Blizzard of 2018.)

Given all of this, I don't feel that bad for the time it's taken me to look back on the winter that looks and feels as though it's very much still with us.

But first, regular readers will be familiar with my "Out and About" series, one that I began in April 2007 as a way of documenting my life as an “out” gay man, seeking to be all “about” the Spirit-inspired work of embodying God’s justice and compassion in the world. I've continued the series in one form or another for the last 10 years – in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 . . . and now into 2018.

So let's get started with this latest installment . . .

My year-long chaplain residency at Abbott Northwestern Hospital (ANW) in Minneapolis continues. In fact, I'm a little over halfway through – which I find hard to believe. Where does the time go?

In the photo above I'm pictured with my fellow resident chaplains Hae, Chandler and Katie. We're in the Bigelow Chapel of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities at a Transforming Chaplaincy forum on January 10, 2018.

Right: Getting into the holiday spirit with Hae and chaplain intern Simeon – November 29, 2017.

To find out what exactly we're doing to create some holiday cheer, click here.

Above: My desk in the Spiritual Care department of Abbott Northwestern Hospital. If you look closely you'll see a piece of bark from the Prayer Tree, a photo of my family from last August (the last time I was in Australia), a photo of myself with singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie and drummer Michel Lee Bruyere (from August 2016), my Adsum Award from the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, and a framed print of "The Compassionate Christ" by John Giuliani.

. . . And, yes, I have a new statue of Cernunnos (right)! For a picture of the first one, and a reflection I wrote last year about this Celtic deity, click here.

Above: The wonderful group of chaplain interns we had at ANW from the beginning of September until mid December. From left: Simeon, Verna, Parker, Angela, and Yvette.

Above: The new group of chaplain interns that started at ANW in mid January 2018. From left: Dave, Phillipos, Sheila, Suzie, Dong, Mark, and PJ.

Above: The Rev. Denise Dunbar-Perkins, who retired in December 2017 after many years as a chaplain at ANW.

Left and below: The December 19 farewell party for Denise, hosted by the Spiritual Care department.

Above: Katie, Hae, Denise, and Verna – December 7, 2018.

For more about my journey in interfaith chaplaincy work, see the previous Wild Reed posts:
Interfaith Chaplaincy: Meeting People Where They're At
Chaplaincy: A Ministry of Welcome
Spirituality and the Healthcare Setting
Getting Into the Holiday Spirit

Above and below: Two of a number of gatherings I hosted this past winter to celebrate both the Winter Solstice and Christmastide.

For more pics and commentary, click here and here.

Above: My boyfriend Brent in a winter wonderland! . . . Actually, we were at Rosedale Center. We were there to see the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi.

Above: My housemate Tim and his girlfriend Colleen by Minnehaha Creek, close to where we live in south Minneapolis – December 9, 2017.

Above: My dear friend Noelle with her granddaughter Amelia – December 23, 2017.

Right: Brent and Amelia – December 23, 2017.

Above: My dear friend Joan and her fiancee Matt – December 24, 2018. You may recall that Joan accompanied me on a visit back to Australia in 2015.

Above: My friend Kathleen – January 20, 2018.

Above: On Saturday, January 20, 2018 I hosted my fifth (somewhat) annual tea party at my home in south Minneapolis. At this event were my dear friends Ken and Carol Masters and a number of the wise and inspiring women who are members of (or closely connected to) the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet – St. Paul Province. I'm a consociate member of this Catholic order, and two dear CSJs, Marguerite Corcoran and Rita McDonald, served as my companions during my two-year consociate candidacy (2006-2007).

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

Above: My friend Omar – January 27, 2018.

Above: My friend Simeon – March 13, 2018.

Above: My friend Deandre – March 16, 2018.

Above: With my friend Brian at Minneapolis' Orchestra Hall. I was Brian's guest for the Minnesota Orchestra's February 9 concert, a definitely highlight of which was the orchestra's performance of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, Opus 48 (concert version of 1900).

For my reflections on what I call Fauré's "ChristoPagan" requiem, click here.

Above: Hey, it's Black Panther himself!

On the evening of Thursday, February 15, Brent and I went to see Black Panther at the West End in St. Louis Park. . . . And who should have reserved seats right beside us but our friends George and John (left)!

The young boy pictured above was just one of a number of movie-goers dressed up as either characters in the film or in traditional African attire. It was great to see how happy and excited everyone was about seeing a movie which, in many ways, is about envisioning a world were all are recognized, represented, and valued. Without doubt, Black Panther plays a big role in ushering in such a world.

For more on Black Panther at The Wild Reed, see:
The Important Cultural Moment That Is Black Panther
Celebrating Black Panther – Then and Now

On Sunday, March 4, 2018, my boyfriend Brent hosted an Oscars Night Party.

Above (from left): John, Brent, George, Jim, and Omar.

Right: With my frien Kathleen.

Above: My friends John and George – March 4, 2018.

Above: Winter scenes – Minneapolis, MN, 2017-2018.

Winter 2017-2018 Wild Reed posts of note:
Our Quiet Time
Vessels of the Holy
Buffy Sainte-Marie's Medicine Songs
No Room for Them
Christmas 2017 – Reflections and Celebrations
If God Is Love . . .
Let Us Be "Energized by the Beauty All Around Us": Jane Goodall's New Year Message
Hope in the Midst of Collapse
Waking Up
Global Condemnation for Trump's Latest Ignorant and Racist Comments
Three Winter Gatherings
Nakhane Touré's "Tortured Journey to Clarity"
Winter of Content
Blessing the Dust
Gabriel Fauré's "ChristoPagan" Requiem
The Important Cultural Moment That Is Black Panther
Happy Birthday, Buffy!
In Minneapolis, a Snowy February Friday
In the Wake of Yet Another School Shooting, Signs of the Times
A New Day
Remembering Dusty
In the Garden of Spirituality – Marianne Williamson
Celebrating Black Panther – Then and Now
A Day to Celebrate the Survival of the Old Ways
Farewell Winter

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Out and About – Autumn 2017
Out and About – Summer 2017
Out and About – Spring 2017
Out and About – Winter 2016-2017

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

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