Listen to the highly unusual radio ad for St. Andrew's in Birmingham, Alabama at http://www.bradbrad.com/mt.mp3. I wonder what the public response has been. By the third time I listened, I loved it. I have fond remembrance of St. Andrew's. When I taught at the University of Alabama in the 1960s, St. Andrew's was the only parish in the state where one could experience Anglo-Catholicism. On several occasions its rector visited us in Tuscaloosa to celebrate house mass. My aunt alienated her brother, my father, when she viciously attacked me for leaving the Southern Baptists to become an Episcopalian (confirmed October 29,1961), so to get back in his good graces, my aunt asked to attend the Christmas Eve mass with me at St. Andrew's in 1963. When we arrived, there was already such a vodka smell about that I was sure that another brick of charcoal or another candle might ignite the congregation; but she, a teetotaler, seemed not to notice. With her country twang she dutifully and fervently sang her way through several of the carols. She was belting out "O Little Town of Bethlehem" as Father Wirtz led the procession up the center aisle from the crèche at the entrance. My aunt glanced over her shoulders at the doll he had in his hands, quietly gasped, "Idolatry!" and fainted. Fortunately some resourceful soul had smelling salts. Revived, my aunt made it through the end of the service, but on the way home she said quietly. "I hope you'll forgive me if I don't go again next year." Four years later when I told my grandmother that I was gay, she replied, "What did you expect; you became an Episcopalian!" Enjoy St. Andrew's ad, and be sure to visit when you are anywhere near Birmingham. Lutibelle/Louie Louie Crew Chair of the Newark Deputation. Member of Executive Council.
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