Alas, I am home late, thanks to the annual work holiday party. It was fun (my fingers are still hurting from Guitar Hero) but this leaves me little time to get an article written.
I should at least briefly mention the little speechy thing I did at the Washtenaw Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network‘s interfaith service last Sunday. I was quite surprised to get the phone call from them back in October asking me to be a presenter, and even more surprised when they e-mailed me the event announcement saying that I was one of four speakers for a two hour event. Er, what? Was I expected to talk for half an hour??? One e-mail exchange later, I was relieved to find out that I was only expected to talk for five minutes or so. Phew.
Sunday came, and I was there, as were about eighteen other people. Oh dear! I was expecting a much larger audience than that! But I guess that’s a fair turnabout, after all the people who have come to Grove events expecting a hundred people at our rituals, or a few dozen people at Fire Watch, or eight people at our business meetings. (Ha!) I’m sure they wanted more people to be there, but with finals week looming, I’m sure most of the folks on campus had other things on their minds. At least the indoor event had more people that the outdoor candlelight vigil they did earlier that day, which I’m told lasted for all of ten minutes before the few people who braved the cold decided to head indoors.
And it’s a pity that so few people were there, not just because they missed my brilliant comments on a Druid perspective on compassion toward those with HIV (if I do say so myself), but they missed a lot of good stuff. There was a lovely gospel song to start us off, and then the rabbi in charge of the U of M Hospital’s chaplain service quoted the Torah, and a Hindu priestess quoted the Bhagavad Gita, showing that their holy texts called for compassion rather than condemnation. It was very moving and I’m very sorry there weren’t more folks there to experience it.
At the event, they were collecting food for the HIV/AIDS Resource Center, and I’m going to recommend to the Grove Leadership Council that we do one of our two annual food drives for them. I’ve been fortunate in that I haven’t lost any of my own friends or family to AIDS, but I know what a dreadful epidemic it has been, spiritually as well as medically, and I’d like to see us do something to help, even something small.
As for the contents of my speechy thing, I would share them here, but I’m saving them for my article in Shining Lakes News next weekend. Keep an eye out for it!
Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF