My church…standing in the autumn light.

I woke up this morning thinking of the phrase “in the fullness of time.”

Such a beautiful phrase, and it fits today.

A gorgeous autumn day in New York, leaves still on the trees, blazing with color.

We’re up here to unveil the headstone on my mother-in-law’s grave.

Rest in peace, Rhoda.

What a long, full life you led, and so much love you left behind!

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Atlanta

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 our brand-new pastor: Father Jeffery Ott, a Dominican friar from New Orleans, and our new Assistant Pastor Father Bruce Schultz … not to mention our affable, groovy deacon, Chester Griffin (whose beautiful wife Janis also leads the choir), a liturgical dance company called Amazing Grace, and some highly gifted & competitive sports teams (of which I’m not a member).

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.

 

2 thoughts on “My church…standing in the autumn light.

  1. Hiya Me,

    Love your church although I subscribe to no religion. Was introduced to your absolutely wonderful blog on Huffington Post Living Page by Cara Barker.

    And yes, I have subscribed. You’re giving me courage (which I didn’t think I needed!) to go further with mine.

    Thank you.

    Love your blog!

  2. I truly enjoyed your Sunday musings. It is obvious you love your church and receive blessings from your involvement. Thank you for sharing…

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