After our November 24th, 2013 Pre-Thanksgiving meeting, followed by dinner with Sage Granada Park United Methodist Church's community, I sat back exhausted, but relished in reflection about how far we have come this past 2013. November's largest support group meeting ever! It generated an overall total of 45 attendees representing SGV API PFLAG. What was also significant was that many couples, families, parents, and allies attended the church's annual Thanksgiving dinner. Our gesture of gratitude was demonstrated by high participation or attendance at the dinner. Our hearts were warmed by Rev. Sunny's open invitation and that her congregants welcomed us lovingly. The food was plentiful, and we brought some pies, bread rolls, bread pudding, and salad dressings to share. Newlywed couples came to introduce their new spouses. Fathers brought their kids with them; knowing that it was a family affair.
So many new faces; many of them allies. Lots of parents and couples with children! Thank you for gracing us with your presence, your conversations, patience in listening to everyone, for asking those tough questions, for clarifying, for considering us as part of your family. I am always honored and moved by everyone's kindness; our collective nurturance of one another, and the immense trust that abounds in our group; our SGV API PFLAG family!
As the year comes to an end, we have much to look forward to when we have our API PFLAG family's support. 2014 will be an even more exciting year! I know all of us will come together to make it so. I am eager to hear everyone's ideas; to continue to see their smiles at our monthly group meetings; to have more volunteers at next year's events; and to keep in touch with one another. Joining our API PFLAG family means that one will no longer walk alone. We have each other's backs!
The coming weeks of 2013 will be busy for most of us. Everyone around us may be stressed, tense, anxious, excited, rushed. Please be safe as you more about the holiday rush. I hope that you will find respite by coming to our next support group meeting on Dec. 22, 2013. We will have an informal, intimate gathering; a special time to rest; engage in relaxed conversation in a smaller group.
We wish everyone a happy holiday with much peace, extended rest, renewed hopes and dreams, and prosperity for the coming new year.
- Carol Mannion