Background note: Rev. Kevin A. Johnson and Mike Shear are BUMC members who moved to Palm Springs, California, in July 2002, to begin Bloom in the Desert Ministries, which is an interdenominational, inclusive Christian ministry including the Methodist (Broadway style) tradition. “Kevin’s Korner” is a monthly column reporting on their progress so Broadway and Bloom stay well connected in ministry together. (www.bloominthedesert.org)
With Rev. Kev gone for four weeks in June and July to the UCC National Gathering of the Coalition for LGBT Concerns as a planning team member, the 29th UCC General Synod as an elected delegate from the Southern California Nevada Conference and two weeks of classes to begin the Doctor of Ministry program at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California, Bloom will be again proceeding on its strengthening congregation-driven feet. Please keep Bloom in your prayers for helpful preparation, healthy leadership and fulfilling experiences for the congregation and her pastor.
Also, while you are praying, give thanks that there is an uptick in new leadership emerging among Bloomers and friends embracing responsibilities of our mission. We have a new person volunteering to be the facilities manager for our office space, a mother and son team volunteered to become our Nurture and Community Development Team Leaders, and a recent transplant from Portland, Oregon, was elected our Worship and Education Team Leader at our recent Spring Congregation Meeting.
With the end of May, we completed the first season of a weekly presence at the famous Palm Springs Thursday Evening Night Villagefest. There we provide a place for hospitality and rest as we sponsor a booth with chairs for sitting and water dishes for the many dogs that pass by. Some folks bring doggie treats to give as well. Saying “Hello” to folks in the crowd is a way to initiate connections. Some keep walking. Others embrace the greeting. Sometime people stop to chat. This is ministry of presence and welcome. We get some questions, but mostly affirmations that people are glad we are there. The plan is to do this again next season as a way to be “out there” in community ministry.
Rev. Kev and Moderator Bill Davisson represented Bloom at the second annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast in Palm Springs. Federal Judge Walker, who rendered Prop 8 unconstitutional in a decision that is currently in the UC Supreme Court, was the keynote speaker. Other speakers included the Marine veteran trans woman local activist who got the group’s Annual Diversity Award for her programs and activism, and two students representing the 30 other students present from the valley’s several Gay Straight Alliance chapters.
Rev Kev and Mike Shear, the Navy veteran, represented Bloom at the annual Veterans for Peace luncheon on Memorial Day. Our newly elected member of Congress spoke along with others who received peace awards. In 2009, Rev. Kev and Bloom were honored by this group for Bloom’s leadership in bringing a community sponsored Peace Pole to the Village Green in Palm Springs. The group was the first to make a financial contribution to the effort.
As always, please keep us in your prayers and come visit whenever you can.
Rev. Kev and Mike