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.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. 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. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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

    >

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