Left Justified: Holiday Odds and Ends

Left Justified: Holiday Odds and Ends

By Stanley Campbell

As the Christmas season approaches, I hope all of you have your holiday plans in good order. I usually wait until the last minute before finishing shopping and shipping greeting cards. My favorite holiday card is put out by Crusader Clinic, which sought designs from homeless children in the Rockford area. This colorful and meaningful card is available at Bob’s Hardware, 20th Street and Harrison Avenue. Bob’s Hardware has a two-for-one special if you buy the cards by the pack. Bob’s seems to always support good works in our community.

Pray for the Homeless: Speaking of Crusader Clinic, their Homeless Program will be commemorating all those who died for lack of shelter in the city this last year. You are invited to this small prayer service at the Rockford Public Library’s reading room, 215 N. Wyman St., 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19. There we will also give thanks for those who work with the homeless trying to change their very difficult lives. Crusader, Janet Wattles, the Carpenter’s Place, Rockford Rescue Mission, and numerous church and social service agencies all deserve our support.

Pray for the Immigrant: Another prayer service will be held in support of the immigrants on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 1 p.m. I will be at Illinois State Building, 200 S. Wyman St., leading a procession called a posada, which depicts Mary and Joseph searching for a room in Bethlehem. We will be looking for room in the state of Illinois for more immigrant rights. Specifically, we will pray that the state of Illinois will grant immigrants the right to get a driver’s license so they can drive legally on the highways as well as purchase automobile insurance. We will also ask that long-time immigrant residents be eligible for in-state tuition so they can send their kids to college after they graduate from local high schools. These prayers, if answered, will provide a little justice and a whole lot of safety and benefit for the state. We pray this knowing it will take a miracle if it occurs, but we do believe in miracles.

Peace Speaker: And finally, speaking of miracles, it is miraculous that we have a wonderful speaker coming to Rockford. Rev. Bob Edgar, the general secretary of the National Council of Churches, is going to Iraq on a peace mission and, on his way, he’ll stop in Rockford and tell us why. That’s this Friday, Dec. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in Court Street United Methodist Church, downtown Rockford (two blocks north of the Public Safety Building). This is Rockford Urban Ministries’ Christmas gift to you.

Our National Pastime—Shopping!: After those programs and prayer services, I’ll run out quickly to finish my Christmas shopping. This year, I will be going to that new art gallery at the Clock Tower. Area artists display their beautiful crafts, and a portion of the proceeds goes to fight AIDS in the community. I’ll probably visit some of the better second-hand stores—Goodwill, Salvation Army, Keepers, Crusader Thrift Shop (and others that I’ll keep secret). May we all get better than we deserve this holiday season: an abundance of God’s grace and mercy. May we see peace in the world and justice in the coming new year.

Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

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