Monday, December 17, 2012

Trying to gather my thoughts...

It has been a very sad few days after the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT on Friday.  I plan to write a post inspired by this senseless event, but I am finding that I need a few days to compose my thoughts.

I am thinking of all the school-aged children and youth I know today, and their teachers, principals, and others who work in the schools.  May they have the wisdom and strength to get through this day, together.

Life is so fragile, and so precious.  Let us love one another.  For now, that is all I want to write.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rest in Peace, Ravi Shankar

Through my adolescent love of obsession with the Beatles, I discovered Ravi Shankar, and through him the wonderful world of Indian classical music -- some of my favorite music on earth.  Thanks for the music, Pandit-ji.  Rest in peace.

Here he is teaching George Harrison to play sitar:

Here he is on the Dick Cavett show:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lyrics in Haiku

I tweet as @RevLara (you can see my tweets here).  I have a disclaimer on this blog that the views expressed are my own, not necessarily those of the congregation -- and that goes double for Twitter!

Lately, just for fun, I've been tweeting lyrics to songs that get stuck in my head -- but in haiku form.  Some of them come out better than others, of course.  Here they are, so far:

Jose Feliciano lyrical Haiku of the day: "Feliz Navidad / from the bottom of my heart / Prospero Año"

Joni Mitchell lyrical Haiku of the night: "We love our lovin' / not like we love our freedom / help me, I'm falling"
Bob Marley lyrical Haiku of the evening: "Stand up for your rights / sick an' tired of your game / don't give up the fight" 

Lady Gaga lyrical Haiku of the evening: "Gaga ooh la la / no, I don't wanna be friends / want your bad romance" 

The Mamas and The Papas lyrical Haiku of the morning: "Oh Monday, Monday / every other day is fine / but can't trust Monday" 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Free movie night, "HEIST: Who Stole the American Dream?"

Join us at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover this Friday, November 30 at 7 p.m. for a (free) screening of Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?

We will provide popcorn. Please feel free to bring a portable chair (e.g., a lawnchair) with you for more comfortable seating.

From the website the movie is summarized:

"HEIST: Who Stole the American Dream? is stunning audiences across the globe as it traces the worldwide economic collapse to a 1971 secret memo entitled 'Attack on American Free Enterprise System'. Written over 40 years ago by the future Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, at the behest of the US Chamber of Commerce, the 6-page memo, a free-market utopian treatise, called for a money fueled big business makeover of government through corporate control of the media, academia, the pulpit, arts and sciences and destruction of organized labor and consumer protection groups.

"But Powell’s real 'end game' was business control of law and politics. HEIST’s step by step detail exposes the systemic implementation of Powell’s memo by BOTH U.S. political parties culminating in the deregulation of industry, outsourcing of jobs and regressive taxation. All of which led us to the global financial crisis of 2008 and the continued dismantling of the American middle class. Today, politics is the playground of the rich and powerful, with no thought given to the hopes and dreams of ordinary Americans. No other film goes as deeply as HEIST in explaining the greatest wealth transfer of our time. Moving beyond the white noise of today’s polarizing media, HEIST provides viewers with a clear, concise and fact- based explanation of how we got into this mess, and what we need to do to restore our representative democracy."

Please join us for this highly provocative and fascinating film, which will be followed by a discussion.  Directions at link.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Feeling thankful for it all today... Remember, as Carl Sagan said, "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." Happy Thanksgiving!
Image from

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jazz Ball: Live Music & Dancing THIS Saturday, November 17! "Day for Night"

"Day for Night" is a wonderful jazz ensemble, featuring John Finbury on piano; Patty Brayden on vocals; George Hicks on guitar; Michael Petrishen on sax and other woodwinds; Dave Hickernell on bass; and Kevin Mara on drums.  Please join us this Saturday, November 17 at 7 p.m. for one of the best nights of jazz you will ever experience in Andover!  This is a  benefit concert with a suggested donation of $10.  Light refreshments will be available.  All are welcome!  Directions to 6 Locke Street at this link.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

15 (or 22?) minutes of fame... on cable TV!

On this past Sunday, for Veterans Day (or Armistice Day), I appeared on the Framingham Cable Access TV show "Jim Pillsbury LIVE from the Knotty Pine Cafe" to talk about the Smedley D. Butler Brigade of Veterans for Peace.  World War II vet (and former POW) Bill O'Brien was also on the show -- it has been wonderful getting to know Bill better over the past few weeks!  You can watch it below.  We are on from roughly minute 4 until minute 26.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Shout out from the Colbert Report

I love that Stephen Colbert responded to Billy Graham's assertion that "Unitarianism" is a cult.  Hilarious.  Watch all 6 minutes, or just watch from around minute 3 for the UU part...

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Colbert Report: Tip/Wag - Constant Documentation & Billy Graham
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happy Navratri!

Today is the first day of Navratri, the Hindu celebration of "nine nights" in honor of the Mother Goddess... Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati being the focus.

On Sunday, October 14, we had a "Unitarian Universalist Appreciation of Navratri" at the UU Congregation in Andover

To the left is a photo of (top to bottom) pictures of Durga, Saraswati, and Lakshmi in the front of our sanctuary that morning. 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I made my own ghee and camphor oil to make lamps.  On Sunday, I used the camphor oil because I wasn't able to warm up the ghee at the last minute. (See picture below.) I did the best I could with the Sanskrit.  I've been studying it some on my own, but I'd love to take a class.

My favorite part of our service on Sunday was that Reinaldo Betances, accompanying himself on harmonium, sang some truly beautiful kirtan.  It was transcendent!

Today, for the first actual day of kirtan, I went to the Chinmaya Mission Boston in Andover.  What a welcoming place!  I had a wonderful experience meditating and worshipping there.

Later this week, I plan to go to the Sarva Dev Mandir in Oxford.  As I posted about previously here, I have a special love for Hinduism.

I have just started a page on Facebook called Unitarian Universalists for Hindu Awareness.  To the left is the logo (so far, and totally unofficial!) for the group. If you are a UU who wants to learn more about Hinduism, or if you are a UU Hindu, or a Hindu UU, or if you just want to know more, please "like" the FB page.  If you are on Twitter, you can follow the UUHA Twitter page, too.

Happy Navratri!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A new form of sermon-writing procrastination!

Tomorrow, I will preach a sermon called "A Unitarian Universalist Appreciation of Navratri" (event notice here).

Today, I invented a new kind of sermon-writing procrastination... I made my own ghee and camphor oil for the puja lamps!

Ghee whiz, I just couldn't help myself!

I'm looking forward to the service tomorrow, which will include kirtan.  The service starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover.  All are welcome!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Movie follow-up, and used book and plant sale!

So today, from 12 p.m. - 3 p.m., there is a Used Book and Plant Sale at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover.  Come and see what you can find!  Event info at this link.

Last night, we had our first movie night of the year.  We showed The Cats of Mirikitani in honor of the International Day of Peace.  People really loved it... very touching, thought-provoking movie.  Since then, I discovered a website with up-to-date info and footage about Linda and Jimmy (from the documentary) at this site.  Jimmy is still going strong!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy International Day of Peace! Movie tonight...

Happy International Day of Peace!

In honor of this day, tonight (starting at 7 p.m.) we will have a free showing of The Cats of Mirikitani. Learn more about this wonderful documentary at this link.  If you want a more comfortable seat than our folding chairs, please feel free to bring your own portable chair (for instance, a lawn chair or beach chair... or bring a portable ottoman and put your feet up!).  Popcorn, beverages and snacks will be provided.  Come for a great film, and great company!

I have a personal connection to this film, by the way, in that the director and filmmaker, Linda Hattendorf, was a suitemate of mine at the National Peace Academy's PPI in 2010.  Proud to have met her!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

David Cobb's excellent talk...

A Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover congregant told me that David Cobb would be speaking tonight about "Move to Amend".  She assured me he was an excellent speaker.  So I went to Arlington Street Church tonight, where he gave his talk.

Wow. What an amazing talk!  I was blown away.  And though I was clear that Citizens United was a decision that needs to be overturned, I wasn't as clear until tonight about why a Constitutional amendment was the best way to go.

Below is a video of a fairly similar talk he gave several months ago.

To my way of thinking, this issue ties into at least these several of our UU Principles:
  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person (1st Principle);
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations (2nd Principle); and
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large (5th Principle). 
And when I think of the Occupy Movement, I can't help but wonder if this would be a good practical item to focus a majority of energy on for a while...

Friday, August 31, 2012

Plumb Excited for the New Congregational Year!

[This is an excerpt from a piece that appeared in the UUCiA's September 2012 Plumb Line newsletter.]
I am so excited for the 2012-2013 congregational year to begin.  

One late summer project I have been working on is re-doing the walls in my UUCiA office (also our meeting room).  I’m looking forward to having a refreshed space to begin the new year.  I can’t help but notice, however, that the road to a new, fresh, clean look is distressingly messy.  As I type this, the wallpaper from my office has been scraped off.  But there are still bits of it on the floor that I need to vacuum up.  There is still some excess “DIF” on the walls that I will need to wipe away carefully.  And then, before I put one stroke of paint on the walls, I will have to do some sanding of rough spots, some puttying of holes, some covering of carpet…  The actual beautification is fun, but the preparation work to get there can be a bear!  And it often takes longer than I expect.  (Current picture of the status to the left.)
And so goes the work of beautification and transformation.  You’ve got to break some eggs to make an omelet, as the saying goes.  I suppose that’s where the “leap of faith” lies.  My prayer for us this year is that we’ll be faithful, knowing that the road to creating a better self, a better congregation, and a better world has some distressingly messy moments.  May we pass through them with grace and love, together.
I very much look forward to seeing you on Sunday, September 9 for our Water Ceremony and in-gathering.  Until then…

Friday, June 29, 2012

Introducing... Spanish Friday!

Today, I take a break from posting about UU General Assembly to participate in Spanish Friday.  Please send any corrections to my Spanish (I'm a beginner!) to my email.

Quiero aprender a español. Sé muy poco. Puedo entender algunos de lo que oigo. No puedo decir mucho en español.

Estoy planeando estudiar en Solexico Dicen que es excelente.

Mi iglesia (la Congregación Unitaria Universalista en Andover) dice palabras en inglés y español cada semana:
We light this chalice for the light of truth,
the warmth of love, 
and the energy of action.

Encendemos esta llama que representa la luz de la verdad,
el calor del amor, 
y la energia de la accion.

Gracias por su paciencia (con mi español)!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Service of the Living Tradition, tonight!

I'm behind on my blogging... it always happens around now, at mid-GA.  But I'm excited because tonight is the Service of the Living Tradition.  For those so inclined, you can watch a live stream video of the Service of the Living Tradition. It starts at 5:00 p.m. Phoenix time, which is 8:00 p.m. in Massachusetts/New Hampshire/EDT. I will be among those recognized for reaching Final Fellowship. I believe the applause and celebration for that will be toward the very beginning (along with a split second of my picture -- don't blink!), before the more worshipful part starts. But the whole service is inspiring.

A link to watch the Service of the Living Tradition is here.

Addendum: Thanks to a friend, my split-second of glory in being recognized for achieving Final Fellowship was filmed! You can watch it below...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

GA begins, officially! And Ministry Days ends with a bang, not a whimper

Ribbons: Delegate, Green footprint, & Welcoming Congregation.
Yesterday started off with worship at UU Ministry Days and the annual “25/50 Year Worship.” This service honors those UU ministers who were ordained 25 years ago and 50 years ago. Each of these cohorts selects from among its members one person to deliver a homily at this service. Now, these selected sermonizers are the cream of the crop. Surviving 25 or 50 years in successful ministry is an accomplishment in its own right, and so the selected speaker from each group is the cream of the cream of the crop. Not surprisingly, these sermons are consistently excellent. This year was no exception. From the 25 year class, the Rev. Kathleen McTigue was selected. From the 50 year class, the Rev. Rudi Gelsey was selected. Both sermons made me cry at moments, as happens almost every year.  Rev. McTigue's sermon was "Like Licking Honey From a Thorn", and (as the title suggests), it reflected the bittersweet nature of ministry, and life.  Rev. Gelsey delivered an extemporaneous style sermon; he lost his sight nine years ago. The title was "Perpetual Peace: A Future Worth Creating".  A topic dear to my heart!

I then went to a Collegial Conversation called "Next Steps on the Journey to Anti-Racist, Multicultural Ministry: Who Are Our Neighbors & Other UUMA Initiatives".  There are exciting trainings ahead in the UU Ministers Association!

UU Ministry Days ended yesterday late afternoon with the annual Berry Street Lecture, the longest-running lecture series in the United States.  This year's lecture was delivered by the Rev. Fred Muir, who spoke on the future of Unitarian Universalism and UU ministry.  I took copious notes, but eventually the entire text of his lecture will be online and I will link to it here.  His focus was on the "trinity of errors" that hold UUism back: 1) a persistent commitment to individualism; 2) an exceptionalism that is often insulting to others; and 3) an allergy to authority.  As Rev. Muir noted, "Individualism is not sustainable, nor sustaining."  He noted that people are seeking a congregation that embodies the Beloved Community.  He noted recent studies that suggest that young seekers yearn for a kind of modern evangelism without the "conservative political overlay".  What must we do to become the Beloved Community?  Rev. Muir thinks that all congregations must "weave justice dreams" that are part of our UU history "into the fabric of our institutions".  He thinks the four pillars on which UU Beloved Community can be built are: multiculturalism, environmental justice, sexual & family values, and right relationship.  He also thinks that we need to reconnect with the "soul-filled nature" of this ministry.

I loved the story Rev. Muir told about discovering UUism for himself.  He was a college student; he had been raised in the Disciples of Christ, and he had always "loved church".  He had a professor who read Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Divinity School Address" to them, and he was quite moved.  He asked the professor what religion Emerson had belonged to, and the professor told him that Emerson had been a Unitarian.  Muir asked, "Does that still exist?"  (Ah, our evangelism is so lacking!)

It was a great talk, and so Ministry Days ended with a bang.

I went to a Regional New England In-Gathering at General Assembly... it's always fun to see folks from home across the country!  They told us that (after California) Massachusetts had sent the most attendees to GA this year.  Amazing that so many of us made the long trip!

Last night was the official start of GA with the Opening Celebration, including worship and the banner parade.  We got to hear from some of our Justice GA partners (the Indigenous Cultural Center Tonatierra, the National Day Labor Organizing Network, and more).  And we heard a great talk on the Doctrine of Discovery by Steve Newcomb, author of Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery.  I will have to read that book!

After GA, we left the hall singing and walked over to Heritage Square for our first witness event here: "Turning the Tide from Fear to Human Rights" with the Arizona Immigration Ministry.  About 1,000 UUs were there! A pretty amazing 10 p.m. protest crowd!  Read a write-up here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

UU Ministry Days end, UU General Assembly begins

Yesterday was the first full day of Ministry Day programming.  The highlights for me (in addition to seeing some dear old friends) were the "Weaving Justice and Joy" presentation and a workshop on "Economic Justice and the Occupy Movement."

The speakers for the "Weaving Justice and Joy" presentation were all excellent.  I was particularly inspired by Andrea Lee Smith, "a Cherokee intellectual, feminist, and anti-violence activist".  She did a great talk about the "three pillars of white supremacy". The first pillar is the Logic of Slavery, which ultimately anchors capitalism.  The second is the Logic of Genocide, which anchors colonialism.  And the third is the Logic of Orientalism, which anchors militarism.  I will definitely have to read some of Smith's books and articles!  It was a brilliant analysis, and she was an excellent speaker.

Later, I went to a workshop on "Economic Justice and the Occupy Movement", so-led by Revs. Rosemary Bray McNatt, Jacqueline Duhart, Peter Friedrichs and Kate Lore.  We had a great conversation and theological reflection about the Occupy Movement, "sacred unrest", and our place and role as Unitarian Universalist ministers.  It was fascinating to talk with colleagues who participated in Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Philadelphia, Occupy Oakland, Occupy Portland, and more -- and to see some folks I know from Occupy Boston, too!

Today, I'm looking forward to the 25/50 Worship Service, the Berry Street lecture, and the Opening Session of GA!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

VFP's Memorial Day for Peace

I'm looking forward to leading a Memorial Day Service tomorrow at the UUCiA.  Memorial Day can be a hard day, emotionally, when you really think about the meaning of it all.  But it's so important.

On Monday, May 28, I will have the honor of giving the Opening Words at the Smedley D. Butler Brigade of Veterans For Peace's Memorial Day for Peace.  You can read about it at this link.

May no more people, military or civilian, die in war.  May we make it so.  The Religious Society of Friends (the Quakers) say it best: War is not the answer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Protest of "Secure Communities" coming to Massachusetts

On Friday, May 11, I joined with other Unitarian Universalists in the protest/rally of the ICE "Secure Communities" coming to Massachusetts. I wrote up the event for the Standing on the Side of Love blog; click here to see the post.  It was inspiring to be a part of it.  To the left is a picture I took, showing just a little of the wonderful crowd.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Article on "Welcoming Faiths" in today's Eagle Tribune

Photo (c) Carl Russo, Eagle Tribune (April Welcoming Faiths Meeting)
There's an article in today's Lawrence Eagle Tribune about LGBTQ Welcoming Communities of Faith (or "Welcoming Faiths" for short)!  Here's a link to the article: click here.  It's a nice piece quoting lots of great people from the group, from several different member congregations.  (For the record, I said "If it weren't for same sex marriage, I wouldn't be married at all" and "historic" rather than "historical"... not that I'm vain!)

Welcoming Faiths has a Facebook page and a website/blog.

Photo (c) Carl Russo, Eagle Tribune (me with our banner)
The mission of Welcoming Faiths is "to promote equality and inclusion for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning individuals and families and to reach out and assist those seeking a spiritual home.  Our member congregations encourage active support for LGBTQ people and their families, assuring that they are welcomed, comfortable and safe in every aspect of congregational life.  Our member congregations also strive to increase awareness of issues of equality and justice for LGBTQ persons and to serve as beacons of fairness and loving affirmation in the Merrimack Valley and beyond."

I hope more congregations in the Merrimack Valley will join Welcoming Faiths.  Our current members are:

Ballard Vale United Church of Andover
23 Clark Road
Andover, MA 01810

Christ Church (Episcopal) Andover
25 Central Street
Andover, MA 01810

Christ Church United
180 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852

North Parish of North Andover
Unitarian Universalist
190 Academy Road
North Andover, MA 01845

St. Paul's Episcopal Church
390 Main Street
North Andover, MA 01845

South Church in Andover
41 Central Street
Andover, MA 01810

Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover
6 Locke Street
Andover, MA 01810

Universalist Unitarian Church of Haverhill
15 Kenoza Avenue
Haverhill, MA 01830

West Parish Church of Andover
129 Reservation Road
Andover, MA 01810

We can be reached at:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Arc of the Moral Universe....

Yesterday was quite a day.  First, the depressing news that North Carolina voted for Amendment one.  But then, to my surprise, the wonderful news that President Obama made a statement in favor of same sex marriage... a historic moment by any measure.

Read UUA President (Rev.) Peter Morales's statement at this link.

The quote of the day?  It seemed to be Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Amen.

On another justice topic, please join Centro Presente and others tomorrow, Friday, May 11 in Boston to stand with immigrant families: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. in front of Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the JFK building in Boston.  Here's the link on the event from UU Mass Action.  I hope to see you there!

Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patrick's Peace Parade!

Yesterday, the big day finally came -- Saint Patrick's Peace Parade: People's Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Social and Economic Justice. 
Pat Scanlon and Tony Flaherty, two of the main parade organizers.
As in years past, the Veterans For Peace request to join the "official" (or "traditional") St. Patrick's Day Parade was denied by the Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston.  So was the request of Join the Impact and MassEquality (both LGBT organizations).  (Read article about the MassEquality experience at this link, along with a copy of the letter they received from the Allied War Veterans.) 

Not being allowed to march in the "official" parade, for the second year Veterans For Peace and other groups (notably Massachusetts Peace Action with the leadership of Cole Harrison) organized the St. Patrick's Peace Parade (the People's Alternative Parade...).  This year's parade was bigger than the first one, perhaps two or three times bigger (I don't have a good count yet).

There were several divisions in the Peace Parade, including: Veterans For Peace, GLBT groups, religious/faith-based groups, labor, peace groups, political groups, and Occupy. 
Photo by Deborah Sirotkin Butler.
I was the "Peace Team" member for the religious/faith-based division (pictured to the right in my "Peace Team" bib and my Standing on the Side of Love yellow).  Lots of congregations and religious groups were there. At least these folks were there: Agape Community (Catholic), Community Church of Boston (UU), Dignity/Boston (Catholic), First Church of Somerville (UCC), First Parish in Bedford (UU), Friends Meeting at Cambridge, North Shore Friends Meeting, Old Cambridge Baptist Church, Pax Christi (Catholic), Peace Abbey (multi-faith), Theodore Parker Church of West Roxbury (UU), Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover, Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport, and Wellesley Friends Meeting.  Of course, there were folks from many, many congregations throughout the parade, marching with the other divisions.  (I myself would have felt comfortable marching with the Veterans For Peace contingent, the GLBT contingent, the peace group contingent, or the Occupy contingent!  So choices had to be made for lots of participants.)
VFP banners, photo by Deborah Sirotkin Butler.

It was a gorgeous day; we could not have asked for better weather.  And those watching us march were largely appreciative (with a minimal number of hecklers).  The only downside was that we were supposed to step off at 2 p.m., and we didn't get going until 4 p.m.!  The "official" parade (before us) ran over, and so we had to wait and wait.  (If I didn't know better, I'd think it was deliberately done in the hopes that people would give up, or wear out, and go home.  But almost all the Peace Parade marchers hung in there, which is pretty amazing in and of itself.)

I would have liked to have seen more press coverage of our parade, too, but the Boston Globe did have this article on the parade.  They also put some photos of our parade on -- you can see them here.  In addition, The Metro wrote a nice piece on the parade; see it here
Addendum:  Great article on the Peace Parade at this link: "Why Should Peace Be Excluded from St. Patrick's Day?"

Below are several more photos, with captions.  Click on any picture to see it bigger. (Unless otherwise noted, the photos on this post were taken by me.)

A kind volunteer took this picture of me and others from the UUCiA.
The Peace Abbey, with rescue greyhound.
Dignity/Boston and UUCiA banners...
Banners of the UU Society of Rockport.
Folks from the North Shore Friends Meeting.
Folks from the First Church Somerville UCC.
The UU Congregation in Andover group marches...
The Community Church of Boston (UU).

 The Friends Meeting at Cambridge, photo by Janet Mickevich.
The Pax Christi banner, and Wellesley Friends Meeting banner behind.
The Old Cambridge Baptist Church banner.
Another VFP banner, photo by Deborah Sirotkin Butler.
Join the Impact's Boston-flavored banner, photo by Deborah Sirotkin Butler.
Some survivor families of military suicide victims marched, photo by Deborah Sirotkin Butler. 
Various local Occupy groups marched, including Occupy Boston, photo by Deborah Sirotkin Butler.
Looking down a hill, white VFP flags down at the bottom.  Another VFP flag in the pickup truck in the foreground. The man in the red shirt, part of the labor contingent, was right in front of the religious/faith-based contingent, entertaining and educating us with his words of peace and solidarity.

Last but not least, the wonderful Leftist Marching Band! (Not sure who shot this video...)