I had a great day yesterday. I began my oral presentations to a congregation in Jamaica, Queens, NY. It was at my girlfriend’s church. Her church held a breakfast prayer meeting and had asked me to come and speak. And so I did. I didn’t preach, but put together a powerpoint presentation. I read the little vignette about Ranola and Ken first, and then launched into the powerpoint. It was all about the stigma and discrimination that keep people from reaching out, and getting tested or getting the proper treatment that they needed.
After the presentation, I then told them a little about myself and disclosed my diagnosis to them, and opened up the floor for questions. All the way from Philly to NY, I was kinda anxious about it. But once I got the mike in my hand, I had a good time (I am so full of myself…and something else you might say). Had them cracking up a few times, which I think was necesary, because the subject matter so charged full of issues that people don’t like to deal with, especially people that are in the church environment.
One slide, was the slide with the “sex-workers” in it. Didn’t know what I was going to do or whether I should even put the slide it. But I did. Because like I told them: I don’t condone it…but they need preventative care also. So, if you have a little time/or are interested, you can find the little short story here: A short vignette from a book of Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies) from the story: Knocking on Heaven’s Door, and the powerpoint presentation here: Promise
On a similar note, the article that Andrew Faiz did is published. You can find it here: Our Faith Demands More of Us. My piece is midway…can’t miss it…my pic is there.
Thanks Andrew! You really put a lot of work into this whole issue. I will be in the Lutheran Magazine in December. I’ll keep you posted.