Season after Pentecost, 2023
When I was assistant organist at the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis in the late aughts it was customary for the boys and girls of the choirs to begin the year with a retreat at Waycross Camp and Conference Center, just a short distance away from Bean Blossom.
It wasn't uncommon for boys and girls (mostly the girls) to pick up a "Bean Blossom" souvenir t-shirt nearby (they were tie-dyed) and wear it to choir rehearsals throughout the year. It was a reminder of the joyful experience and deeper friendships formed at that annual time together at Waycross.
For the choirs, "Bean Blossom" was just one more expression of togetherness.
So it is painful for me to read of the recent vandalism to St. David's, Bean Blossom.
And I can only imagine the heartbreak and fear that the people who make St. David's their spiritual home are experiencing.
It is the stereotypically unfortunate vandalism we have come to expect since the election of Tuesday, November 8, 2016: the president-elect is great; white people are great; gay people are not.
But it's not entirely surprising.
Between the cathedral on picturesque Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis and the bucolic Waycross Camp you pass through Martinsville, Indiana.
Martinsville has a disturbing section on "prejudice" on their Wikipedia page, and to this day people in central Indiana remember it as being a particularly associated with white supremacists.
It was an alleged Ku Klux Klan stronghold in the 1920s and labeled a "sundown town." Blacks were expected to clear out before dark.
"Indiana Town: From Racist Past to Primary Present". NPR. 30 April 2008.
Martinsville is surely filled with good people who condemn the vandalism at St. David's, but there must be one or two in the area who still pine for the "old days."
And this is part of the unfortunate muck-raking that the president-elect seems to have wrought. Latent racist cultures and attitudes – that under-gird our society more than we care to admit – feel that their time has come (again).
...the kind of language used during the recent Presidential campaign has emboldened some people to become openly abusive and insulting. Our option as faithful people is to be sure we don’t respond in kind. The Episcopal Church will continue to welcome all people, to seek and serve Christ in the world around us, to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being – even those who deface our buildings.
Our buildings can be marred by anger and hatred – we will not allow our hearts to be defiled.
Let's all put on our Bean Blossom shirts today.
Let's pray for the people who cowardly spray painted this church in the middle of the night. I believe part of the message of the church is that hate can lie buried and fester, but when love is buried it blossoms.
Let's let love blossom in the face of all this hate.
Now the green blade rises from the buried grain, Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain; Love lives again, that with the dead has been: Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.
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