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Ministry Opportunities: Next Stop Quito

Posted 2:23 PM by
Atlanta International Airort
Next stop Quito - well by way of Atlanta!
Written on Tuesday, July 7 
Tucker Hemphill and I arrived in Atlanta and are awaiting the rest of our team. We will do some community building with each other and make more plans for our time in Quito. We fly to Quito on Wednesday and begin our programs on Thursday. Our image of the day is from the baggage claim at ATL - ants on the ceiling! Apparently an artistic image for the busiest airport in the US - interesting. 
Your prayers for our experience are greatly appreciated. Keep up with what we are doing through St. Dunstan's Facebook page and with the blog site for the event PYE Quito Province VI
Sue von & Tucker 
 
 





 

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Pub Conversations

Posted 2:20 PM by





 

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Tuesday Night: Pub Conversations!

Posted 5:29 PM by





 

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Next Stop Quito!

Posted 5:25 PM by
 
Tucker Hemphill and I leave in just a few short days and my dining room table is covered with supplies to take on our journey. This Sunday, July 5, our congregation will commission Tucker and I for our short-term mission to Quito, Ecuador and the parish of Buen Pastor. On Tuesday we fly to Atlanta to meet the rest of our team and begin our work of preparing for entering a different culture and an opportunity to grow in faith. The next day we will head to Quito to meet our hosts and guides, two members of the short-term staff for the summer. Once there we will spend one day touring and learning about the culture and people of Ecuador. The following day we will begin our work at the parish of Buen Pastor. This congregation is one of the Episcopal churches in Quito and where our church currently sponsors two children to attend public school. Their priest, Juan Carlos Quiñonez is a friend that I have known for ten years and I can't wait to see him and work with him for the next week. We will spend our days continuing the work they are doing with their building projects, leading a VBS for children, teaching Sunday school, leading youth group programs and teaching youth leaders from the diocesan community. It will be a full ten days!
 
We ask for your prayers throughout our experience - July 7-17 - for safe travel, open hearts and minds, and growth in sharing our faith stories and listening to the faith stories of others. We will be sharing as much as possible through St. Dunstan's Facebook page and PYE Quito Province VI - our blog site. We will have much to share when we return.




 

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Love Wins!

Posted 5:15 PM by

Last Friday, something remarkable happened at the Supreme Court of the United States. As you  know, in a 5-4 decision, bans against same-sex marriage (or as we now know it - marriage) were struck down. My husband Paul and I were married in a ceremony in Dallas, TX, surrounded by our friends and family on March 13, 2010. A few days later, we traveled to New York City for our honeymoon and took a train up to New Haven, CT to get legally married; at that time there were only 5 states that recognized same-sex marriages, and the Council of the District of Columbia had just made recognition legal the week before our wedding. So after our honeymoon, we went back home as roommates in the eyes of the State of Texas.  

Standing at the Supreme Court steps on Friday, I spent about two hours fighting off tears of joy.  Despite our relatively young age, Paul and I weren't really sure we would live long enough to see our marriage fully recognized in every state in the United States; I can't imagine how astounding it must be to be one of the couples who were finally married after being together for 20, 30, or 50 years together. Progress is rarely easy to make, and this victory comes after years of blood, sweat, and tears (literally).  

We're thankful for our allies, especially allies in the faith community, who stood up for lovein  the face of consternation, Bible thumping, and hate. And Progress is STILL being made as we speak! This week at General Conference, the House of Bishops approved two liturgies that will permit same-sex couples to be married in the Episcopal Church, beginning on the first Sunday of Advent 2015. But despite this giant step forward, there are still battles to be fought: LGBTQ people can still be fired from their job, denied housing, kicked out of stores and restaurants, denied healthcare and prevented from adopting children in many states. Please continue to pray that love continues to conquer hate and that the arc of the moral universe continues to bend toward justice for the LGBTQ people in our community.

Michael Austin
Music Director


 

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