Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fr. Chuck's Column, Sunday, June 16

Happy Father’s Day to all Dads, Grandfathers, Godfathers and father figures! Your job is vitally important, today more so than ever. We NEED good Dads! Hang in there and keep up the good work. God bless you!

First a few words about trash. Several people have inquired about the large dumpster sitting on the blacktop. I wish I could tell you that it is there because of a major renovation of the grade school, but that is not the case. I wish I could tell you that it is there to facilitate a major purge of the trash and detritus that has accumulated for decades in all the hundreds of stairwells, closets, basements, nooks and crannies on this campus, but alas that is also not the case. However it is there because of the “build out” of the second floor retail space in our garage. The dumpster is too large to fit into the garage, and so it is easier to park it on the blacktop.

This build out is the finishing of empty retail space we had on the second floor of the MLK garage. We have leased it to “Hotel Ella,” formerly known as “The Mansion At Judge’s Hill,” just up the street from the garage. They will be using the new offices for their booking and support staff. We are delighted to have them as our tenant.

Finally I would like to talk about water. In the Gospel Jesus tells us, Whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward” (Mt 10:42). Well, we as a parish have taken that to heart and so have provided a fountain on the corner of 21st Street and Guadalupe for any thirsty people and their pets.  There is even a level for people in wheelchairs. 

This all came about because of an appeal (over a year ago!) from some of the outdoor merchants on the 23rd Street Mall to the Board of Directors of Micah 6. Their appeal was for water. More and more restaurants and businesses were denying access to water to street youth and others. There was only one easily available water source in the area, a spigot at the Congregational Church on 23rd Street. Bicycle police, street youth, and others all use that water source, and with the heat around here in the summer, another source of water was greatly needed. 

The Parish Pastoral Council supported the idea of adding a fountain. The Pastoral Staff endorsed the idea. This is putting our faith into action. My hope is that university students, people waiting at the bus stop, people walking down the street, bicycle police, street youth and any thirsty person will stop and get a drink of water. It may not be very cold, but it will be wet. 

Thanks to the generosity of Mobile Loaves and Fishes, we have been able to purchase the fountain. Thanks to the generosity of some parishioners, we have been able to afford installing and hooking up the fountain. We hope to do some sprucing up of the area and hope even to have a painting or mural on the wall behind the fountain. Given the presence across the street of the iconic Austin “Hi, How are you?” frog creature, this area calls out for some artistic response. 

If you have ideas about what should go up there I am open to suggestions. Several parishioners are already working on ideas. Nothing happens here very quickly, so it may take us a while to install. But the main thing is that thirsty people have another source to get a drink of water. I hope you will stop by and try it out yourself. 

God bless!



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