Thank you Justin

I got a little taste of what inauguration day is going to be like and it is not for the faint of heart. John and I had to split up today. He needed to send some video tapes to Nashville and I needed to get to the United Methodist Building before 2 p.m. Probably on an ordinary day I still would have gotten lost but today I really didn’t know what I was doing. The United Methodist building in DC is next right next to the Supreme Court. A landmark I thought would be easy to find. I was looking for a red bus or the red line metro, what I found was a nice young man on a red bike with a rickshaw attached. As I hopped in the cart I asked Justin if he was a mass murderer and he assured me he was not. He was also not from DC so he wasn’t sure where the Supreme Court was. He got me close. I had to fight upstream to get where I was going (which by the way, took several police officers to direct me). I arrived at the building at 2:10 to find a handwritten note on the door “close (sic).” I just sat on the steps and tried not to cry. After a while two people came to the front door, I think they were the cleaning crew. They were not impressed with my United Methodist News Service badge. Fortunately, Erin Hawkins, general secretary for the Commission on Religion and Race was working late even on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. God does answer prayers. She let me in and I got the key left for me by the very helpful Wesley Paulson, staff member on the Board of Church and Society. That was at 2:30, at 5 p.m. I hobbled up to the doors of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church where John Gordon let me in the building. I can’t even tell you what the lines were like at Union Station and in the Metro station. I prefer to block that from my memory. We are going to be leaving our hotel room at 3 a.m. in hopes of making it to the National Mall. It is going to be a great day, it is going to be something I will always remember (I just have to keep telling myself that.) God is so good to me. Across the street from the church is the Acadiana restaurant, I thought I was hallucinating. I got a delicious cup of crab and corn soup and a trio of “pies”—a Natchitoches meat pie, a crawfish pie and a vegetable pie. I was revived. Soon I will be going in to hear my friend Larry Hygh preach. That will revive my soul. Until tomorrow … Kathy L. Gilbert

Be the change!

Rev. Dean Snyder, Bishop Gregory Palmer and Bishop John Schol stand together at the end of worship service at Foundry United Methodist Church on Jan. 18.

Rev. Dean Snyder, Bishop Gregory Palmer and Bishop John Schol stand together at the end of worship service at Foundry United Methodist Church on Jan. 18.

Bishop Gregory Palmer urged the congregation at FoundryUnited Methodist Church in Washington, DC to “be the change you want to see.” The Baltimore-Washington Conference has taken the quote from Gandhi as their theme during the inauguration of Barack Obama. About 40 churches in the conference are opening their doors to show “radical hospitality” to the millions flooding into the city. At Foundry, more than 90 United Methodists from New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, North Carolina, Iowa and Georgia are sleeping on the Sunday school classroom floors. At the moment, they are enjoying oven baked chicken, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables and chocolate cake in their red, white and blue decorated fellowship hall. Watching over them is a life-size cardboard cut-out of a smiling Obama. As one young man said, “I’m here to see history.” United Methodist News Service will be in DC throughout the MLK holiday and inauguration, stay tuned for more details.

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