Gathering Provides Special Feelings

Oct 5, 2017

If I were writing my “back to school” Fall essay, I would tell this story.

Imagine a three-day gathering of people ages five months to the upper 70s; from cities, suburb and farming communities; standing on continuums spanning political, religious and cultural identities. Then put them in ethnically diverse restaurants, in pick-up basketball, and on picnic blankets in an urban park. On the third day, see them congregate at an antique furniture building in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood for a wedding celebration.

It was our son, Jeremiah, and his love, Caroline, who planned this diverse wedding encounter. Jeremiah’s family from Florida and Illinois mingled with Caroline’s family from Taiwan and California, with friends spread across Chinese and American landscapes. Caroline’s colleagues in health care interacted with Jeremiah’s entrepreneurial friends in a multi-dimensional melting pot.

What struck me was how everyone seemed to relish this experience. The outdoor wedding ceremony, led by Jeremiah’s pastor-father, started with a processional of racially diverse attendants, a blend of parents and step-parents, and the couple’s dog, “Stinkerbelle,” trotting down the stone aisle, led by a young ring-bearer. During Holy Communion, all were invited to take part or come forward for a blessing – and everyone did!

From the laughter, stories and unbridled joy heard throughout this celebration, it felt like a taste of heaven – something we could taste more of in our local and national communities.

I’m Connie Seraphine, and that is my perspective.