A few days ago as I came down from my walk/run in the hills, I stopped to say hello to my neighbor Shirley, who was in her driveway with gardening gloves and shears. "So guess where I'm going next week?" she said with a smile.
"I'm going to visit my brother Tom, in Gettysburg. Haven't seen him for a couple of years."
"Cool!" I said.
"We've been planning it for months. But then he called a few weeks ago and said, 'What would you think if I invited Alice?' I couldn't believe what I was hearing! These two have not spoken to each other for ten years! Back when our mother died, some things happened between them and as a result he completely cut her off. I said, 'Tom, I think that would be great!' So he did and she said yes, and now we're all three going to spend a week together. I'm bringing old pictures and we'll spend time reminiscing. And of course we'll go to Gettysburg--."
"Shirley!" I exclaimed, cutting her off. A synchronicity like this would never pass me unnoticed. "Gettysburg! You three are celebrating the ending of the Civil War!"
"Oh, my gosh! We are, aren't we?"
"Brother against sister--sister against brother. This deserves a hug." As I put my arms around Shirley, her eyes welled with tears.
"We are, aren't we?" she repeated.
"And you know what, Shirley? The ending of the civil war by your brother and sister is huge! I mean, like how the hologram works--the part is in the whole and the whole is in the part--and whatever happens in the part affects everything! Like scientists tell us that the fluttering of a butterfly's wings off the coast of China affects the weather pattern in California."
"So what I think is that every time a healing happens in a relationship it contributes to the healing of the whole world! Like your brother and sister could right now be contributing to peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians!"
Still teary, Shirley laughed. "Wow!"
As I write this, my friend Shirley and her two peace-making siblings are together in Gettysburg. And the newspaper tells me that the peace talks in the Middle East are hanging by a thread. It's hard, I know. But also I know that in Gettysburg a butterfly is flapping its wings.
Marlin K. Jensen Listens to Pain Caused by Prop 8.
At an early morning meeting prior to the ten
o'clock session of the Oakland Stake Conference on
a remarkable event occurred. Marlin K. Jensen, a
general authority of the LDS Church, listened
Gay Men's Choir! My dear and amazing friend Lisa
Tensmeyer Hansen has been enthusiastically creating a
chorus designed for gay men and their allies. Their
rehearsal home is Utah Valley University. President
Matthew Holland has named "inclusivity" as one of the
three focus-points of UVU, enabling the college to reach
out to this choir.
Family Acceptance Conference. The Family Acceptance Regional Conference, will be at the Sheraton Downtown Salt Lake City Oct 8-10. The keynote speaker for the conference is Dr. Caitlin Ryan, from SFSU, who has done extensive research into the value and importance of Family Acceptance of LGBT family members. Information can be found at www.utahpridecenter.org.
Workshop to Meet Crisis of Gay Suicides. Several
gay suicides in Utah over the summer, five gay suicides
recently in the national news resulting from bullying,
and concerns about possible despair of young LDS gay
people following a conference talk by Apostle Boyd
Packer assuring them they were not born gay and can and
must change have prompted the "Trevor Project Lifeguard
Workshop Program" Friday, October 8 at the Utah Pride
Free. The life you save is that of your brother, your
BRAND NEW BOOK THAT I CAN'T TELL YOU ABOUT! Well, this is frustrating. A brand new book of mine was recently released, but I'm not going to tell you about it because the first printing sold out so quickly that it won't be available for a few weeks, so you couldn't get it anyway! A hint: it has nothing to do with gay people and it will make you laugh out loud. Something to live for until the next newsletter. And in the meantime, well, there are plenty of my books you haven't read yet...
Could you benefit from a telephone
consultation/conversation with me about any of the
issues with which I have experience?
"God is a
magnetic force, attracting the soul into a perfect
pattern of expression. Spiritual surrender means leaning
toward the magnet."