La Porte, Indiana: How Not to Run a Rally
Posted by Fr.JamesRosselli (October 24, 2012 at 1:31 am)
It was 9:30 in the morning and the Rally would be starting in two and a half hours. Three of my four speakers had cancelled, one of them ten minutes ago, and the fourth—my keynote speaker—had just informed me that he had a cold and might not make it.
Of course, being the strong and stalwart man of God that I am, I fell into a chasm of gloomy self-pity. The devil whispered all the usual stuff in my ear, how I was a lousy leader and had fallen down on the job; how I wasn’t getting any respect because I didn’t deserve any, how maybe I should just leave the priesthood and become a bartender, or something.
Same old stuff. We’ve all heard it. It lasted about a half-hour, when I perceived the Lord saying to me, “Relax. I’ve got it.” This was reinforced by my wife (yes, being an Orthodox priest I get to say things like “my wife…”) who reminded me Who was really in charge.
So I relaxed. The mood lifted. I figured, if push came to shove, I’d just ask people to come up and share prayer.
The forecast for the day was fifty-three and partly cloudy. My daughter and I (yes, being an Orthodox priest, I get to say things like, “my daughter and I…”) walked out of the house at ten-thirty into a beautiful, warm, bright morning that was a good ten degrees better than the forecast. We set up the PA system (our band had cancelled a few days earlier, so a local music store—Roxy Music—loaned us sound equipment), and a couple of early arrivers just happened to come along to help us set up our tent-pavilion.
One of them was Dave Kolar from La Porte County Right-to-Life, who innocently thought he was just there to set up an information table. Dave is one of those humble guys with a razor-sharp mind, who has the facts and figures about abortion and the damage it does right at his fingertips. I asked him to speak. He said, “Sure.” Thank You, Lord!
Another early arrival was Professor Richard Stith, from Valparaiso University School of Law. Dr. Stith, an internationally-recognized expert in family law, was there to ask if he could publicize an October 25th showing of the film, For Greater Glory, at St. Paul’s Church in Valparaiso. I displayed his poster prominently, and asked if he would speak. Dr. Stith, whose speaking calendar, I am sure, ordinarily gets booked much farther in advance than ten minutes, said, “sure.” Once again, thank You, Lord!
It was about that time that our keynote speaker showed up, cold and all. Pastor Jesse Moore, from Faith Fellowship Church of God, is a passionate servant of the Lord and a speaker who gets, and holds, your attention. He’s a pillar of the La Porte community, who enjoys a fine civic reputation. He coughed a few times during his talk, but aside from that it appeared the Lord had sufficiently restored him to show up and inspire us all. Again and again, thank You, Lord!
About halfway through Pastor Jesse’s talk, Fr. Ian Williams showed up, wth a big grin on his face. Father Ian is the Pastor of Sacred Heart Church, whose overflow parking lot we were using for the rally. His impossibly busy morning culminated with a funeral, prelude to an impossibly busy afternoon. Fr. Ian was scheduled to deliver the Benediction, but didn’t think he’d be able to make it because of the funeral. And, here he was! Thank You, thank You, thank You, Lord!
There were twenty-eight of us. Now, that may not seem like many, but La Porte is a quiet little town that values its family-time on Saturdays, and doesn’t come out for much. For a “new” event, twenty-eight is about as good as it gets.
What we got was a small, tight-knit group of people who take their praying seriously and were happy to meet each other.
Right up until the last minute, it was no way to run a rally. But, as it turns out—thank God—I wasn’t the one running it, after all.
Thanks go to:
Ric Federighi of WIMS Radio, who was kind enough to publicize the event.
Roxy Music, for being such wlling servants of God, and for bailing me out at the last minute with a sound system.
Fr. Ian Williams of Sacred Heart Church, for the use of his facilities.