"The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.” Pope Francis
This week my mother celebrates her 83rd birthday (pictured here wearing the Mother's Day crown I made for her). Born on her grandfather's farm in east Texas, Mom is steeped in the Southern manners and attitudes of her forbearers who hailed from Galveston, Alabama and Virginia. Articles of faith in my family include: you can never have too much cornbread or cobbler, polite people do not gossip, and children should spend summers barefoot.
Mom also instilled in me and my brothers that we must do what we can to improve the lives of others. As a devout Presbyterian, Mom was drawn to the University of Texas’s Christian Faith and Life Community in the 1950s. This experimental, inter-denominational, residential program inspired her and my father to put their faith into action. Though Alzheimer’s has devoured my mother’s brain, she can still recall marching for civil rights, picketing for integration of the movie theater on the Drag.
No surprise then that we kick off the new year on our farm with a morning of service.
You are invited to join us at our River Farm (156 Howard Lane, Bastrop, 78602) on Monday morning (Jan. 18) from 9-12. All ages and abilities are welcome. We’ll spend a few hours doing farm chores then wrap up by harvesting food that will be donated to families in need in Bastop. (Volunteers will also receive veggies. Please arrive wearing a mask, gloves. RSVP, 512-949-9830)
Be sure to wish “Grandma” Happy Birthday!
If you are unable to join us, here’s an online program by the LBJ School that looks interesting: https://lbj.utexas.edu/mlk-day-virtual-program-sword-and-shield