United Methodists, local businesses, non-profits and many others gathered on Sunday, September 29th to make a difference at over 100 volunteer sites across the greater Birmingham metro area. The Magic City Miracle started with a kick-off event in downtown Birmingham at Linn Park. Registration started around noon and Deborah Wallace-Padgett, our Bishop gave us a great send-off. Lunch was provided (sack lunches - PB&J's or turkey and cheese and bottled water and bananas) You know where we ate lunch, right? Grandmother (Mark's momma) didn't stay for Sunday School - she went home and finished lunch preparations so we could run by her house and eat before going to the park. Jealous? Should be!! Meanwhile, down at Linn Park, there was even live music! The projects were supposed to start after the bishop gave us the send off (and Rev. Nathan Carden, one of our associate pastors and Rev. Wade Griffith, pastor at Liberty Crossings, and a nice man from the city of Birmingham mayor's office also spoke . . .that sounds much longer than it really was.) Our group actually finished our project before the bishop spoke which was fine with the three of us because we had lots to do that day. There were all sorts of projects for people to be the hands and feet of Christ. Over 2000 (yes, you read that right!!) people showed up to volunteer that day. There were even projects for those who wanted to be a part but had limited mobility or limited time or small children.
We were able to find a parking place on the street just a couple of blocks away. As we walked into the actual park, I told Mark and Laura that I wanted to take a picture of the two of them. Ted Roose, another church member, walked up right at that moment and we were able to get a picture of all three of us.
I did get one of the two of them. I sure do love my family. Yeah, I know . . .I'm prejudiced.
Here we are at our project site. These are some of our Tuesday night folks. Cara, Dana and Lila are sisters. What in the heck are they doing????? Well . . . . you see . . . .we were making seed bombs. What are seed bombs? You start with a lump of clay (the canister of stuff behind the red cup). You roll it in your hands and make a ball . . .and then you flatten the clay in the palm of your hand into a circle. Guess what you do next? Really, can you guess??? See that stuff BEHIND the clay? It looks sort of like dirt? Well, it was not dirt . . .it was some sort of MANURE! So back to the circle of clay in your hand. . . we sprinkled a little MANURE on top of that circle of clay and then added a pinch of wildflower seeds on top of that. Then we folded the clay around it all . . .and rolled it into another ball. Guess what we did next? Can you guess? We rolled those balls in MANURE. Yes, we did. Mark looked at all of them in the box (we put them in the cardboard box as we finished) and said, "those look like those chocolate truffles you and mother make!" Honey - I don't think they would taste like those truffles!! This is a funny thing to me . . .the little girl that taught us how to make them was about 7 years old.
In addition to lunch, can you tell what else we received? Yes, a MAGIC CITY MIRACLE t-shirt!!
They had closed off this street for the bandstand. Steve Wingo led the music. Another funny story . . .we had to register when we arrived at the park. Mark was off talking to people (are you surprised?) and Laura and I went to the table to register. We had to fill out some forms, etc. The girl who took our information said, "Are you related to Susie Elliott who graduated from Homewood High School in such and such year?" I said, "as a matter of fact, we are." Laura said, "She is my aunt." The girl looked up and said, "she used to date my husband." I started laughing and said you must be married to Steve Wingo. . .simply because I had been told that Susie dated him in high school. That was pretty funny . . .but maybe you had to be there for it to be funny!!
This is when we were all standing around listening to the bishop, etc. It was really cool to look around the park and see other church members and other people I know just through the connectional system of the UMC. It was truly a great feeling to know that we were all going to be in service together . . .at the same time.
This is a picture of the plaza area of Linn Park. It is really a lovely place. I remember back when I worked downtown, we would sometimes walk over to the park.
All in all, it was a great day. Many projects were completed.
40,000 pounds of sweet potatoes were dumped into a closed off street. People sat and sorted and bagged these. This project was for Alabama Gleaning and helps feed the hungry. Several of my friends participated in this project and they said that were dirtier that day than they have ever been!!
We gathered together on a day in September and we were a beautiful picture of the body of Christ. It was a good day. Yes, it was!!