Charlotte and JW are coming to Atlanta this Sunday to get married. Well, that is not completely accurate. I actually performed their wedding in Dallas many years ago. I can’t believe they are coming all the way to Atlanta so I can make it legal. I adore these two women, and though we have never vacationed together, or played cards together, or even hung out all that often, our lives have been woven together in significant ways for almost 30 years. I’m moved by how deeply I love them because we mostly have shared a church family together.
They both are retired schoolteachers and active members of the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas. They have served in almost every ministry possible. Charlotte is very musical and has sung in every ensemble and played bass and handbells. JW served in leadership during a time of transition as they looked for a pastor. You can find them at the church most Saturday mornings feeding the homeless or cutting their hair and beards.
I could go on and on about the various roles these two women have quietly filled throughout the years in that church. What is amazing to me is that they were there when I arrived in 1987, and they are still there today, faithfully doing their ministry. They went through a number of capital campaigns, volunteering and giving generously. They went through the AIDS crisis, caring for dozens and dozens of young men as they died far too young. In fact, they are probably two of only a dozen people who bear the sacred memory of that time and of those many souls who passed that way. They were there, and they are there still.
This Sunday, after worship, we will make their marriage legal. This Sunday is unusual because it is one of those rare years when All Saints’ Day actually falls on Sunday. It feels like the perfect day to do their wedding because I can’t imagine two people who more completely express what I have come to understand that it means to be true saints. Faith isn’t magic; it is faithfulness. THAT is who Charlotte and JW are.
Rev. Michael Piazza