Weekend Open Thread: Rev. Sarah Halverson Invites All to Fairview Church’s 2015 ‘Beacon of Light’ Awards Program

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Beacon of Light 2015 awards program

Fairview Church’s “Beacon of Light” 2015 awards program poster — tickets available now!

The Fairview Community Church’s Rev. Sarah Halverson — who was my pick to give  President Obama’s invocation at his second inaugural, after the original choice proved unsuitable (sadly, a suggestion not taken) — has almost always been a mainstay of OC progressive activism over the past decade or so.

Mollie Halverson-Cano protests El Super.  (She refused to march, however.)

Mollie Halverson-Cano protests El Super. (She refused to march, however.)

There have, of course been some exceptions when she hasn’t been available to be there for us.  There was that time she went on vacation and met her future husband Markyce Cano; that time she went abroad again to marry him; that time that she gave birth to their widely celebrated (among her Facebook friends) daughter Mollie; those times when various motherhood-related obligations since then that no one could seriously begrudge keep her at home.

Still, Rev. Sarah remains an almost unfailingly chipper and optimistic booster of civic goodness — and is widely beloved among Orange County’s progressive activists.  But now she wants something from her fans — and is she is willing to give back something in return: the pleasure of a fun evening with like-minded people.

Rev. Sarah’s congregation puts on an annual awards ceremony — the “Beacon of Light” awards — for people that they view as contributing greatly to social justice in Orange County.  (Last year’s recipients included Rep. Loretta Sanchez and OCCORD‘s Eric Altman.)  This year the event will be on October 24, with a cost of $45 in advance — plus a $10 procrastination fee for people who show up only as of the day of!

So here’s what the Rev. wants from her friends and fans:  Don’t make yourself have to pay the extra $10!  Be kind to the Rev and take her off tenterhooks early if you know that you’re going to want to go!

And, if you’re a progressive activist in OC who appreciates how she and her church contribute to our community life here — you probably will want to go.  (So cut the lady a break and sign up early, ok?)

I interviewed Rev. Sarah over Facebook about the event and what it means to her, to her church, and to her award recipients.

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OJB: What’s this event about and who’s being honored?

Rev Sarah: I really do believe that our church is a strong progressive voice in the community — the kind that stands up when others stay silent on issues like immigration, worker injustice, Planned Parenthood … and because of that I think it is a church worth supporting.

We’ve got incredible honorees — of course [AFL-CIO National Vice President] Tefere Gebre — but also Larry Haynes, who addresses the moral issue of the housing crisis. And Second Harvest Food Bank is a charity that does an incredible amount of good — and it allows others who care to do good too!  It’s amazing how many organizations they empower to address hunger in Orange County.  So I think it is a really worthwhile event to support shining our light in the OC!

OJB: Why should people outside of your church should want to attend this event?

Rev. Sarah:  I suppose that I would say: the reason an event like this is important is because a church like this is important.

I know that we tend to appeal to non-church goers. I am not here to try to convert you; I never have been. I don’t expect that suddenly all the progressives in Orange County will be in the pews on Sunday morning. But I do believe that this church matters to those who may never sit in our pews.

OJB: Why is that?

Rev. Sarah:  It matters because you need to know that there is a faith perspective that stands with you. A faith that believes in economic justice; a faith that values the work of Planned Parenthood and as Christians proudly stands with Planned Parenthood; a faith that boldly says Christianity and homosexuality are not mutually exclusive, and in fact apologizes for the wrongs the Church has committed over the years against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and Transgender people.

So we want to celebrate who we are with you and affirm that even though you may never darken our door on a Sunday morning we are still your church. We share your values and we uplift them standing together for justice.

OJB: How is planning for the event going?

Rev. Sarah:  I feel like people don’t commit until the last minute….and it makes me a nervous wreck!

OJB: But — you’re feeling good about it, right?

Rev. Sarah:  It’s going to be a fun night!

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Come on, people — it’s payback time!  Get your tickets now so that she can rest easier for the next week!  You can order through ocfairviewchurch.org or by calling XXXXXXX or emailing XXXXXXX.

[Editor’s Note: I’m going to be a little heavier on the hammer with deletions on this post from anonymous commenters who go out of their way to deserve them.  If you really want to take on the Rev., you can do it under your own name.  After all, both God and atheist dialectical materialism already see all!]


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)