Words for Journey, Words for Justice

Pat Hoffman Author, Chaplain, Presenter

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Christmas 2018

Posted on December 26, 2018 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (1)

On the edge of a new year,

May Sacred Spirit surround us,

Uphold us in difficulty,

Bless us when we draw close to others and to ourselves,

And guide our hearts through the unknown.

plh

 

For Women's History Month

Posted on February 24, 2018 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (2)

 


Pool near Walpi, Arizona. Early 1900s. Photo by Carl Moon


In Gratitude For Women

by

Pat Hoffman

 

For every woman who made history and whose name was left out of the books.

 

For every woman whose sacred story was kept only in the heart of God.


For any woman whose acts of courage were derided as “unbecoming,”

 

whose dissatisfaction was labeled “crazy,”


whose creativity was ignored,


whose steadfastness went unnoticed, 


whose perseverance has been forgotten.


Let us lay wreaths for these unknown warriors,

 

who kept faith with God’s call to them.

 

And as we step away from lighting a flame at their unmarked tombs,

 

light our own torch.

 

National Women’s History Month was established by Congress in 1987. The selection of March commemorates women in New York City factories who staged a protest on March 8, 1857 over working conditions.


Thanksgiving 2017

Posted on November 24, 2017 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (2)

Eleven of us were together for Thanksgiving here in Pasadena, California. We were sharing stories, catching everyone up on each other’s lives. And before the meal we offered thanks. This thanks for love which binds us together extends to all our family and friends and those we don’t know. Thanks be to God.

 

Thanksgiving Prayer

2017

 We give thanks for love, which binds us together.

We give thanks for food, which strengthens us for the work of making love visible in the world.

 And we give thanks for celebrations, when we gather in gratitude.

 

Dancing with Jerry Perenchio

Posted on August 25, 2017 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Dad may have been worried about me as a brand new student, fifteen, at University High School in West Los Angeles. Almost all my friends had gone to Hamilton but the dividing line was Westwood Blvd. and we were three blocks west of the line.

The first school dance of the year was coming up and I didn’t have a date. Dad decided to set me up with Jerry Perenchio who was a student at UCLA and was booking bands out of Dad’s office in Beverly Hills.

The night of the dance arrived. It was held in the school gymnasium. My new girl friends were agog when I arrived with this handsome Italian dressed in a tuxedo, as I recall. I love ballroom dancing and remember this as a particularly enjoyable evening, spent with a handsome gentleman.

Jerry did not last long at the Jack Kurtze Agency. Dad was alarmed by Jerry’s proclivity to sell acts which were not under contract with the Kurtze Agency. But Jerry’s willingness to shoot high paid off for him later as he represented Henry Mancici, Johnny Mathis, Sergio Mendes and the Kingston Trio and screen stars including Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

In the 1970s Perenchio joined with Norman Lear to produce some beloved television shows such as “The Jeffersons,” and “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.” He came into my sites again when in 1992 he and his partners bought Univision, offering Spanish language programming.

When Jerry Perenchio died May 24, 2017, his obituary included praise for his life-long generosity and integrity. I had a private recollection of a young man willing to take a fifteen-year old to her high school dance.

 

Prayer for World AIDS Day 2016

Posted on December 1, 2016 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (0)


God of love,

 

We are remembering. Remembering those who have died of AIDS, people we loved.


 

Receiver of thanks,

We are grateful. Grateful that those of us living with AIDS have been given another year of life.


 

Source of hope,

On this World AIDS Day we are hopeful. Hopeful a new vaccine may work. Hopeful present mediciations will finally stop the spread of the virus.


 

As we move into another Christmas season, the 35th since the epidemic began, we are remembering. Remembering You were always with us in every act of love, every choice for caring, working, waiting, persisting, with us in gratitude and in hope.


 

May we stay near you now.


Pat Hoffman

December 1, 2016

Praying in Darkness

Posted on November 15, 2016 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)


We are searching for a way forward,


Moving in darkness,


Holding onto our memory of the topography of hope:


Seek justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly within what is Sacred.


We hold on to each other as we search for the next place to set our feet.


We are among the internally displaced,


Praying in darkness.



November 11, 2016

Pat Hoffman

 

Prayer for World Aids Day 2015

Posted on November 9, 2015 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)


PRAYER FOR WORLD AIDS DAY

December 1, 2015


We come to you,

With all that is on our minds about the virus, our hopes for a cure, our fears and

worries for the future.

How do we find you?

When we trust that you are with us,

Present in every act of kindness, patience, and generosity of spirit.

And we know you are in each one of us, just waiting for full discovery.

We come to you,

As caregivers whose work is hard.

We’re sometimes grieved and angry with the restrictions on funding,

and the continuous

flow of the newly diagnosed, and the disappointments we hand to

each other.

How do we find you?

In memorable moments of full engagement, when we forget the clock is ticking,

And it is just two people at their most authentic, and you are present.

We find you when we feel called to the work we are doing.

How do we thank you?

When we remember to offer gratitude that we are alive.

When we remember that every moment can be an occasion for thanks.

And then the gratitude we feel becomes a balm

that heals each of our broken places,

because it reminds us that we are one with you.

On this World AIDS Day we give thanks

for all who are in the AIDS affected community

those living and those we hold in memory.

Amen.

© Chaplain Pat Hoffman

 

 

Bowing before the Mystery

Posted on February 19, 2015 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

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Come Holy Spirit

Posted on February 2, 2015 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (0)

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Learning About Bayard Rustin

Posted on August 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

         “Bayard Rustin, what do you know about him, Cecil?” I said to my husband. “He was active in the Civil Rights Movement.  That’s about all I know.”  We were on our way to a 2 p.m. showing of the documentary, “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin,” at Pasadena’s Allendale Branch Library, part of a 50th anniversary of the August 28, 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

          We had not been to this library before.  There was a tiny area with about sixty chairs squeezed in.  By two o’clock every seat was taken.  We fit right in with the older, white progressives, who predominated.  Several African Americans including Elizabeth, a soloist from our church, were sprinkled in. 

          Professor Peter Dreier from nearby Occidental College introduced the film with some background on Bayard Rustin: African American, raised by his grandparents in West Chester, Pennsylvania, a talented organizer committed to equality and justice, a key strategist in developing nonviolent tactics for the Civil Rights Movement, key organizer of the breathtaking 1963 March on Washington where Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech,and he was gay.  He was always kept in the background because of that.

          The film was feature length. As I came to know this man, Bayard Rustin, I became caught up in his extraordinary life:  a pacifist during WWII, for which he was sent to prison; his fearlessness at Civil Rights demonstrations in the South; his faithfulness in working for justice throughout his life; and his courage in being himself, a gay man, during the decades in which sex between men was illegal in every state of the Union.  In 1953, during a City crack-down, he was arrested in Pasadena.  By this point in the film I was in tears.  A man two rows ahead of me had pulled out a handkerchief and was wiping his eyes.  Other folks were crying, too. 

          When the program was over I felt a deep regret about how Rustin was treated in life; he died in 1983. I don’t know what others there will do, but I can honor Rustin by paying attention to the people and injustices Rustin cared about so passionately and keep forging links to his work. 

       

         

 


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