On January 28/29 All Saints in Pasadena marked the 20th Anniversary of the first same-sex blessing with a weekend-long celebration. Here's "Chapter One" -- the story of the journey to "God, Sex & Justice" and how George Regas came to the place where he felt called to step out in faith and bring blessings for same-sex couples to All Saints Church:
Then there's the moving "vintage footage" of the Benson-Straw Blessing ... beginning with a reflection from then-vestry member Cathy Clement about being part of the decision making process to "Say Yes to Bless:"
And here are "the next generation" represented in the story of Jamie Hebert & Alec Mapa and how their family found (or, as they tell it, were found by) All Saints Church:
And you can watch Bishop Robinson's Sunday, January 29th sermon here ... and Bishop Glasspool's Rector's Forum presentation here.
Finally, in what is arguably the most spontaneously "blessed" part of the whole weekend, here's a story of the ripples of blessing being sent out from the blessing anniversary weekend:
One of the tables on the lawn just outside the main church door was an information table for the Blessing Event weekend. By the end of the 11:15 service all the flyers, sign up sheets and materials had been cleared off and the table was empty: save for a piece of paper with the word "Blessings" written on it.
Two young All Saintsers sat themselves down ... and when a parish member walked up and said "What's your ministry?" they answered: "Blessings! Do you want to be blessed by a kid?" And they proceeded to take her hands and bless her ... "in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit Forever."
A line formed and one after the other the girls blessed the folks who lined up ... a moment caught on video here:
Blessed to be a blessing these youngsters are "Exhibit A" of making God's love tangible 24/7 as they put their faith into action on the All Saints lawn. "Never doubt," said Margaret Mead, "that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." And if you ever do (doubt), remember this moment. And take heart.