A Small, Beautiful Thing…Why We Marched

On the day after #MegaMarch2017 let me tell you another small, beautiful story about what it means to be “Church.”

We had great worship, yesterday morning at church. And that was beautiful. Palm Sunday, and all.

And then, almost 30 of us marched at the MegaMarch downtown. That was powerful. Big thrill of the day for me? Literally marching right behind Martin Luther King III, in a line, arm and arm with friends like Imam Omar Sulieman and Rev. Michael Bowie.

That was amazing, and seemingly once-in-a-lifetime. Michael Bowie kept saying, “That’s him, right there…..he’s got the DNA of Martin Luther King!”

But the small, beautiful story of the day comes from a whole different set of Northaven members, some of whom didn’t even go to the march.

It started with a post from my FB friend, Bethany Erickson. She has kids at nearby Foster Elementary School in Dallas, a school that has a large population of immigrant chidren/students. And she sent me this picture of sign somebody left out in front of her kid’s school.

“Mojado,” in case you don’t know, is the Spanish form of “Wetback.”

Bethany actually sent me several pics of several offensive signs that got left off at the school. But I won’t give the others any more oxygen. You get the idea.

This was clearly meant to frighten the immigrant children and their families.

Anyway, Bethany knew Northaven was close by the church, and wondered if some of our members might want to create some positive signs and bring them by Foster Elementary during the day.

So, during yesterday’s sermon, in which I was already talking about the Mega March, I showed pictures of the offensive signs. I suggested that these kinds of slurs and hate were exactly why we needed to march. I also reminded everyone that it’s yet another example of “Moral Licensing.”

I also told them that Bethany had made the suggestion about creating positive signs of welcome.

So, while me and few dozen of us were off marching all the day, a whole other group of Northaveners took signs by Foster Elementary all afternoon….maybe 20 of them at this point…so that then they arrive tomorrow, the immigrant children of that school will know that some Americans love them and support them.


Isn’t this wonderful? It just warms my heart so.

One of our families even took their sign to the march with them, and then stopped by the school after to post it. (What a symbol that is!)

By the end of the day, Bethany told me there were more than 20 signs.

The DISD security folks were worried that the rain would ruin them, and so they got brought inside to keep them safe. She tells me via text message that even more neighbor folks have been dropping off positive signs of support all day. She tells me that the story might be on the news tonight…Channel 4 or 5….look for that.

You wanna know what makes American great?
Stuff like this.

You know what it means to be the Church?

Yep. Stuff like this.

I’m so proud to be pastor to these folks.

Posted by

Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He’s a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named “best judge” by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

One thought on “A Small, Beautiful Thing…Why We Marched

  1. Eric I’m a member of St Johns UMC here in BR. We have had printed and are distributing these signs here. Got the pattern from a Mennonite church in Ohio. I can send the pattern if you want to use it for Northaven? We put the name of our church across the bottom as well. I’m sure the time element would not fit or I’d mail you one for the school See you in a few weeks Larry

    Sent from my iPhone


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.