Thursday, July 14, 2011

ANNOUNCING! The St. Mary's 9/11 Remembrance Project!

And HERE is the exciting announcement that I was being so very sneaky about.  Elements of this have been in the works for a while, but it all gelled and could finally become public now!

St. Mary's Episcopal Church's Vestry has formally approved our 9/11 Remembrance Project!  It has three facets (because we Episcopalians love our three-legged stools, don't we?).  Action, Word, Prayer.

The Beloved Red Trek Returns Again To The National Capital (different number this year, though!)

Well, you've had an inkling already.  I was accepted to do the Nation's Tri in the First Responder Category, but I've always wanted big races to be about more than just me.  For the past few months, I've been creating a network of people who are backing this venture, and I can finally publicly announce them:
- St. Mary's Episcopal Church is supporting me as their Priest Triathlete.  As far as I know, I'm the only chaplain first responder racing.  (Way to represent the Spiritual Care team, no?)  They provide the time, the support, the understanding when I creak and groan on Sunday mornings because my calves are tight.  They leave it up to my coaches to tell me to stretch more.  And they make awesome potluck dishes to support my increased need for protein.

No matter where I go, I don't forget my roots.  My Virginia peeps rock!  
I will be their person in the wide, wide world, doing an action.

Together, we are joining forces to raise funds and awareness for Episcopal Relief and Development, and Concerns of Police Survivors.  Our online portal is, with funds being routed directly to St. Mary's, who have created a Reserve Fund for this project.  All funds will be split 50/50 between these two organizations.

We feel these organizations benefit people in the whole world, both domestically and internationally, and we feel a special desire to help C.O.P.S. this year as they are looking after the family of Officer Chris Kilcullen of the Eugene Police Department, and will send them to the National Police Week events in May 2012.

Gifts-in-kind to offset travel for me are very gratefully accepted, as well!  I need to fly with a bike!

in Words:
On 9/11, St. Mary's opened their doors and put together a service on the fly.  The then-parish administrator, Nancy C., purchased a scrapbook which people started filling with memories.  A year later, they updated it.  Now, 10 years later, we will update it again with more memories and reflections.  Already, Carolyn B. has shared her report of visiting Ground Zero six months after the attacks.

in Prayers:
St. Mary's is always first and foremost a church.  On 9/11, while I race, they will add some extra prayers in at the Prayers of the People in the main Eucharist, but those main services will retain their focus on preaching the gospel and celebrating the supper.  The Liturgy Committee will meet next week to talk about how else we might remember the day.

My transition bag.  Because after changing computers, I am a little short on action shots, 'k?  I'll work on it!

As always, these projects never take place with just one person or one partner.  I have already convinced my sainted brother-in-law N to be my bike mechanic.  It was great to get a family member who is so bike-crazy he has always made me look completely average!  There is a very special family member to whom a phone call will be made later today to be a certain particular special assistant, and I really hope she'll say yes.

And above all else- so many thanks to St. Mary's for embracing me as their edgy assistant priest.  It is their willingness to adopt my interests like triathlon and work with me to find ways that we can make this all part of our whole lives together!

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