Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Out and About – Autumn 2012

I was about to post photos of Sunday's first winter storm here in Minnesota when I realized I still had this "Out and About – Autumn 2012" post saved as a draft!

I first began my "Out and About" series in April 2007 as a way of documenting my life as an “out” gay Catholic man, seeking to be all “about” the Spirit-inspired work of embodying God’s justice and compassion in the Church and the world.

And so it continues . . .

Above: With my dear friend Joan in early October. We'd just enjoyed a wonderful "jazz brunch" at the Aster Cafe after attending liturgy at Spirit of St. Stephen's Catholic Community.

Above: "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille!" On September 24 I was the guest on Suzanne Linton's SCCTV program Our World Today. I was on the show speaking as the executive coordinator of Catholics for Marriage Equality – Minnesota (C4ME-MN). During the course of the hour-long broadcast, four of the five 'vignettes' of C4ME-MN's Catholics for Marriage Equality video series were shown and discussed.

For more about my work with C4ME-MN this past fall, click here.

To watch my interview on Our World Today, click here.

As important as the work of C4ME-MN is, it doesn't pay enough to live on. Hence my other job . . . as a part-time coordinator with a local meals-on-wheels program. That's what I'm pictured working at above.

The thing I like most about my work with meals-on-wheels is that at the end of every day I know I've making a difference in people's lives. I mean, as meaningful as the work of C4ME-MN is, we rarely see positive social change around marriage equality happening immediately. It's coming, to be sure; and of course what we're doing is important as, in many ways, we're 'planting seeds' for the future reality of full equality for LGBT people. But it's very much future-oriented work. With my work with meal-on-wheels, however, I experience the satisfaction of knowing that every day – here and now – our work is making a very real difference in people's lives. These two very different types of work make for a good balance in my life. And for that I'm very grateful.

Above and left: The autumn equinox wedding of Eve and Daniel.

Right: With friends Joan (the mother of the bride) and Nick.

Yes, it's true: you know you're getting old when you're closer in age to the mother of the bride than to the bride!

Above: Autumn in Minnesota! For more images of the beautiful fall colors this year, see here, here and here.

Above: Friends Mark, Walter and Raul. We were out with others at the Loring Kitchen and Bar on the evening of October 6, farewelling Raul who was leaving Minnesota to return to Mexico.

Above: Mark, Dan, Miss Daisy, Raul, Walter and Barry.

Right: Sitting (at right) with Dan, Miss Daisy and Raul.

Above: At the October 10 celebration for my dear friends Rita and Brigid's birthdays. Rita had recently turned 90 and Brigid 80!

Above: The famous McDonald Sisters: Brigid, Jane, Kate and Rita – October 10, 2012.

Above: Friends Tom and Darlene White, who feature in the C4ME-MN produced DVD Catholics for Marriage Equality.

Part of my work with Catholics for Marriage Equality MN during the autumn involved distributing our 'Another Catholic Voting No' yard signs, bumper stickers and buttons. In the picture above, five members of a local Catholic family, despite being too young to vote, happily display the buttons they requested their mother get for them! She had originally come just for a yard sign.

Left: What I called a "tree of living flame in the eye of the storm"! To read what I mean by this, click here.

Above: Jay Michaelson, author of God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality, speaking at the annual Call to Action MN conference, October 20, 2012.

Above: Many of the 100+ people who attended the October 23 Vigil for All Minnesotan Families at the Cathedral of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Right: October 23 was also my 47th birthday! Close enough to Halloween, I guess, to get this specially-wrapped present!

I celebrated my birthday with a number of friends at Fabulous Ferns in St. Paul, including from left above, Kathleen, Paula, Tim and Paul.

Left: Brent, Marguerite, Rita and Cheryl.

Above: Brigid, Sue Ann, Kathleen, Joey and Kate,

Right: Lisa, Eileen, Bernie and Sue Ann.

Above: Later in the week I celebrated my birthday with friends Liana, Curtis, John and Noelle. (And little Charlie, of course!)

Left: Friends Joan and George also took me out one night for my birthday. We had a delicious meal at the Corner Table restaurant in Minneapolis.

Above: With my friend Curtis and our four-legged friends Charlie and Eddie – October 2012.

Right: With Quinn.

Above and below: Celebrating my friend Noelle's birthday – October 28, 2012.

Above: Standing with fellow Catholics at a special prayer vigil in St. Cloud, MN. The purpose of the vigil was to pray for peace, justice, hope, and healing around the divisive 'marriage amendment.'

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

Above: Celebrating with friends Mary Kay, Brent and Lisa the historic advances for marriage equality that resulted from the November 6 U.S. elections. One of these advances involved the defeat of the anti-gay 'marriage amendment' in Minnesota.

Above: Mary Kay Orman (left), the director of C4ME-MN's Catholics for Marriage Equality DVD, stands with some of the Catholics who feature in the DVD by sharing their "stories of faith family and marriage." Pictured are Brent and Lisa, Grace, and Bob.

Above: Friends Cheryl and Kathleen with Jacob Sustaita, Music Director of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra – Sunday, November 11, 2012.

Above: Singer/songwriter David Rovics performing at Occupy Live! – November 13, 2012. Sponsored by the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers and held at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Cathedral, Occupy Live! provided an opportunity to "learn more about what is happening within the local Occupy Movement, and to determine how each one of us can make a difference." Presentations were made by members of Occupy Homes MN, Occupy Minneapolis, and the Whealthy Human Village.

For my friend Mary Lynn's reflections on Occupy Minneapolis, see here and here.

Above: My friend Bernie Rodel, co-chair of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR), welcomes attendees to the group's November 15 event calling for accountability and transparency in archdiocesan finances.

For Minnesota Public Radio's report on this event, click here.

Above: My friend and housemate Tim with one of the two squirrels we've caught in and around our home! Here in Minnesota at around this time of year there's often a movement of critters such as squirrels, mice and birds into human habitations. Understandably, they're trying to escape the cold and scarcity of food that the approaching winter brings.

Above: Standing by one of the beautiful bur oak trees near Coldwater Spring – Sunday, November 18, 2012. For more images and commentary on this beautiful part of Minneapolis, click here.

Above: I love this photo of Eddie and I – even if Eddie does look like he has the eyes of a hellhound!

Above and left: The first fire of the season . . . at the always welcoming home of my friends John and Noelle.

Liana, Curtis, Kim and Mike (above) and John and Noelle (left) – Thanksgiving 2012. I'm certainly thankful for these beautiful friends in my life!

Above: My friend Mike and I with Eddie and Charlie.

Right: Putting up my Christmas tree – Monday, November 26, 2012.

For more images and a bit about the history of Christmas trees, click here.

Above: Standing at left with Catholic marriage equality leaders from Maine, Minnesota, Maryland and Washington. Pictured next to me from left: Anne Underwood, co-founder of Catholics for Marriage Equality – Maine; Ryan Sattler, primary Catholic lay organizer for the Maryland Marriage Equality Campaign; Joseph Palacios, co-founder of Catholics for Equality; Cynthia Beliveau of Catholics for Marriage Equality – Maine; Jim Smith of Catholics for Marriage Equality – Minnesota; Barbara Guzzo, co-founder of Catholics for Marriage Equality – Washington; Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of New Ways Ministry; Marianne Duddy-Burke, president of DignityUSA; Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry; and Chris Pumpelly of Catholics United.

We gathered with pro-marriage equality faith leaders from Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington and North Carolina on December 3-4 at the Washington, DC headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign. Together we celebrated recent advances in marriage equality in our respective states, and strategized and planned for further nationwide advances in the journey toward full equality for LGBT individuals, couples and families. Our gathering was called "Triumphs of Faith," and was, without doubt, a very inspiring event. As executive coordinator of C4ME-MN I was honored to be part of it. (For more photos and commentary, click here.)

Left: While in Washington, D.C. I visited the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.

For more photos and commentary, click here.

Above: Back in Minneapolis and out for dinner with friends (from left) Brian, Larry, John and Rick – Saturday, December 8, 2012.

Above: Autumn 2012 came to an end on Sunday, December 9, when Winter Storm Caesar dumped over 10 inches of snow over the Twin Cities metro area. More images of the winter wonderland that ensued coming soon!

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Out and About – Winter 2012
Out and About – Spring 2012 (Part 1)
Out and About – Spring 2012 (Part 2)
Out and About – Spring 2012 (Part 3)
Out and About – Summer 2012

1 comment:

William D. Lindsey said...

Your life of discipleship is exemplary, Michael, and documentaries like this do a great deal to teach us about the multifaceted lives of service and celebration that gay Christians often lead. Thank you for it.

If Steve and I could ever marry, I can think of no group I'd rather have sing at our wedding than those adorable McDonald sisters!