There are topics that can be covered and thoughts that can be shared from a lay speaker giving a message, sharing a witness, in a church setting that many pastors might not be able to deliver from the pulpit. For me, this raised questions about the meaning of "sermon" and even the definition of the term itself. I have, in the past, challenged members of my congregations on topics like how "the least of these" as described by Jesus ought to influence the way we treat "neighbors" as defined by Jesus. These were not always welcome words. Walking the earth began not long after the opportunities to speak up became more limited.

Just more than a year ago, I used the introduction to a TalkBack episode to share my feelings about the sudden, unexpected death of a friend within the Pride48 community. Sadly, another sudden, unexpected death has led me to extend the introduction here. I'm remembering one of my favorite people from Louisiana at this time, despite the fact that we never met in person.


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