Bonus: Randy Evans on Worship and Advocacy With Walking Tall
So you mentioned that the peace gathering, how long has that been going on the other end has been going on since August twenty fifth of two thousand eighteen. So could you set the scene for us? What who's at these gatherings? What does the gathering look like? And maybe tell us a story about one of these transformational encounters. Yeah. We I well, I wanted to start a spiritual gathering because walking doll is a non religious follow. Once three and the reason that, that started the reason we made it that was a series of events, where we wanted to create space for everyone, another the unknown, especially in this time. At the conference. Oh inclusive. Everyone's welcome. Like we. We aided appoint. Legitimately say everyone's welcome L would have happened as I had a longing inside of me. Because I do have a best throw art. Don't wanna be passed Oriel in that was missing. And so I'm not a licensed right now. So I don't have sacrimento with already that this was one part of it of where I'm headed the other part is when I was, I had missed the wisdom class this summer. And I felt that there was some tension in some negative feelings lingering in regards to walking taller, because with all my course work, I was using walking tall to answer. And I said, I need some fresh something new. So I did a survey with our community in asked them a series of questions. Like if you could pick one night where there wasn't many mills in down, what night, would you pick what time would you pick if you had your own church, you wanted, whether what would it look, like, and I took me surveys, and we started doing a service downtown. Well, since I don't have Sacramento authority. I, I was position to have to bring in other elders within the. And one thing that I realized I wanna be with this that I am, unfortunately, off L is a figurehead. I never wanna be a figurehead with feasts gathering instead of being able to bring another elders of the laity in a forty may not really ever leading. So since August twenty fifth we've done when every Saturday. And I haven't a preached one time. And so the peace gathering another cool kind of thing that we do is that in this is what we talked about before as we have a mill on the front end. And the reason that we put the mill on the front end, as we've witnessed many towns before. Inaugurate intention, thirties in Christian groups or seen people to sit for long prayers or sermons before they get food and these individuals. Maybe not have anything to eat for days, and they're gonna have to sit through a sermon or a prayer to get food. We. As nice as I can say, we really don't appreciate that too much. That's very, very nicely. And so we put the mill on the front. But what ended up happening when we first started doing else in the services that people would eat and leave, and this is one of those examples of the boxy and trying to live, what we what we speak, I started out a Bill in bed, like I want them to stay for the ceremony. I want them to stay for the service. Why aren't they say for the service weren't Stanford? Meaning. So the way we saw that issue is that we added a mill into our liturgy. So the moment that our friends enter into that space. They are part of this service. And so if they choose to leave right after the mill for whatever reason, and they're just leaving the service early, they've still participated in the liturgy. And so we have a fiscal mill and then we have spiritual meal. We have engine was beautiful about that is in the earth, two or three weeks of going. A lot of our friends of wooden come up for communion. Then over the course of time, just with those rhythms and realizing that this is a safe space or a brave space a unique space. That this moment was about their interaction with God. It was they weren't really making these sort of statement, whether the convenient or not. They were still welcome here. And then over the course of their three weeks they started announcement. Really enjoying this time in wanting to be avoided the community because they realize the significance of it, they realize that, that this was a place. This was a moment for them to experience God's grace. And so the feast gathering has really. Been transformation for a lot for a lot of our friends. With excitement building through the week of winter. We haven't our next gathering right now. We have every other week. When you commit to something. Especially with the vulnerable group. You've got to stick with hell, sleet rain or snow. And so. Feast gatherings been good for me because I've been able to live. More into the grace of God in more into the compassion, and love and not have to be so with walking tall. It'd be more Justice driven having to kind of. Of this dominant scans these gathering gives me that space, too. Who expressed spoi- happiness and the fully past Oriel in ways that I couldn't be with walking tall. Talk to us a little bit then about the advocacy part of, of walking tall. I what do you do in terms of advocacy? It's, it's, it's very of circumstantial. I'll give you an example. There was a ordinance ordinance in town bench ordinance where people were sleeping on the pitch. All of their belongings, and they went through, and they were going to rip up all the benches in there was a crap storm. They put these metal dividers in between events. I felt from the get-go that this ordinance was. It was a perception thing. It didn't Bill right to. And so. Research ordinance found out. It doesn't say that they can't sleep there or keep their belongings. There. It states that they can't occupy the entire bench wants to spend on not using exactly which with us. The gist up. And so when I found this out, I told our friends listen. This isn't this ordinance isn't right. If they if they tell you this. They're, they're not right by any means. Now, what that means for them is the. They have to be above reproach. Not so all of our friends, if you were going to push back on the Wilmington police department, you're gonna push back against city council to try to make this change. You have to be above reproach. That means tanners. N B. I passing places that you can't urinate that, you can't be drunk and disorderly, because the moment that you. Stand up for yourself with a legitimate criticism. They're going to arrest you for, they're gonna give you a citation and so, with advocacy, it's, it's followed. It's helping them become aware of their rights. That poverty is not a crime handling so big when but at the same time easer the other laws that you might be. Now, again, some trouble because I don't I'm not gonna tell a friend, listen you need to quit drink. India saw drinking alcohol because that might actually put them in a seizure and kill. And so what else is, is the, you know, if you're going to drink about you, walk up the road aways, there's a patch of woods in this area aren't gonna find you there. And so is suitable I it's twofold in regards to the advocacy. I still use pretty heavy. Spiritual. Religious language. People know everybody in town knows a Christian. But I think I think where we ended up landing in this role of. Of trying to help our friends. Settle into where they are. It's been working in so what about that as? One of the questions that we always ask is what you love about where you love. And how can you make it a better place? And that's been a that's been amazing. We will here. Some of them stories because no one tends to ask those. Questions to our friends who are who are sheltered. And for some odd reason, and I have figured it out. But when you become unsheltered all of a sudden you lose. The right to share your store. You lose your identity. You lose ability to choose. And so that's another thing that we advocate for. Especially when travelling speak is that agency he identity in the? And the dignity because I know what myself out feels to be discounted. Even from a young age going back to kind of what we were talking about earlier about my history. I know how it feels to, to. Be in a situation where. No one, no one's willing to listen to your story because of maybe your pass because of who you're related to genetics. Whatever the case may be. Pretty lonely. That's pretty only fill in to fill like you've got the, the world. Of against your way out of for us in the advocacy role illness, self worth, but also let them know what their, their rights are. Within welcome.