My church….standing in the light.


“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one…”

(And I’m pretty sure this includes animals, fish & all living things, too.)

As Father John says — this is what real Christianity is all about.

So, I’m Catholic. A practicing Catholic. And I am therefore supposed to (required to) go to church every Sunday.

I am also (super old school here) supposed to tithe, i.e. give 10% of my income to the church. However, since I have a very modest (okay, pathetic) income and basically live off my husband, I’m just going to pretend, for the purposes of giving myself one day a week off from this blog, that I’m making a reasonable income and go from there. So every Sunday – all year long –I’m going to be giving $100 to Our Lady of Lourdes my amazing, adorable church in the heart of the Martin Luther King Jr. Landmark district in Atlanta.

Our Lady of Lourdes was founded in 1912 as an African-American Catholic community, financed by Mother Katharine Drexel – a rich Main Line, Philadelphia heiress who founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and donated her fortune to serve Native American and Black people. From the steps of OLOL (no relation to LOL, kids) you can see Ebenezer Baptist Church (where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his father, grandfather, and brother all preached); and the neighborhood infuses the church’s soul.

I love OLOL so much, it’s ridiculous. It’s small, it’s mighty, it has awesome music (thanks to our Minister of Music and chair of Spelman College’s Department of Music, Dr. Kevin Johnson), and it’s got Father John Adamski – our tall, thin, challenging, intellectual, lovely priest… not to mention our affable, groovy deacon, Chester Griffin (whose beautiful wife Janis also leads the choir).  I’m not sure if you know many Catholics, but I can tell you for sure, we’re not the monolithic, homogenized, “jump to the Pope’s every proclamation” pack of lemmings that you may think. I, for one, believe that the church’s stance on birth control is socially irresponsible, morally insupportable, and just plain nuts.  But I also think the church’s position on poverty, social responsibility, gun control, the death penalty, immigration, health care, equality, civil rights, justice, peace, and charity is truly inspired.

For these reasons – and for the reasons I’ll add every Sunday that I go to church and am freshly inspired (or spiritually challenged), I’m making this my weekly tithe. And if you can find a church you love even half as much as I love Lourdes, you’ll feel blessed to support it, too. I promise.

One thought on “My church….standing in the light.

  1. Thanks Betty. We go to Living Spirit United Church in Calgary, Canada. We have a small but also mighty congregation, an awesome choir, pianist, music director and the most wonderful couple of lesbian minister who are married and very much in love with God and with each other. Our youth are definitely going to change this world for the better. We support a single mum with 5 kids as part of an All Roads Lead Home program. We provide overnight food and shelter for 20 people 2x each month as part of the Inn From the Cold program. The excitement right now however is that one of our people is taking part in a bike relay in July from Calgary to Winnipeg. The ride will take 4 days and we are raising funds to support the Mully Children’s Family Charitable Foundation in Kenya. In just 1 Sunday announcement she has raised $1025. All of this is because we are told to “Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God” I guess this doesn’t sound too humble does it, but it feels great to share the good news.
    ps and I *love* following your blog 🙂

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