Thursday, December 9, 2010

Priest brings unconventional approach

From Oregon-

Nearly 60 years ago, a young boy from Salt Lake City moved to the mirage-inducing heat of southern Florida streets.

He learned much from segregated fountains and two influential women in Miami, and now the Rev. Dan Lediard has arrived in Hermiston and become the priest at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Lediard, a former insurance salesman who was ordained four years ago, said his upbringing in the Florida city — especially coming from the mostly singular skin shades of Utah — quickly made him notice the way people of color were treated.

“It didn’t make any sense,” Lediard said, adding that he was grateful for influences from level-headed folks in his home.

A family maid named Mabel treated everyone with “profound kindred and love” and became a sort of surrogate mother, according to Lediard.

He had to provide care to his severely asthmatic birth mother since he was young, and about 10 years ago, Lediard brought lessons he learned from both those women to a frequently ignored population: inmates at Nevada State Prison in Carson City.

Lediard began sitting in with therapy groups in that institution after a friend asked for help.
When he first arrived at the penitentiary, he could sense a “current” flowing throughout the inmates.

“I immediately became aware of the presence of God,” Lediard said.

More here-

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