Accomplishing More Together


Dear TRENDS Diary - 

As I settled into my new home in Lyons five years ago and began to meet new friends and neighbors, I was struck by how people marked time with “before” and “after.” I realized they were referring to the historic flood that devastated the town in 2013.

To me, that speaks of trauma. Much of my work as an artist has focused on the trauma of war. Through working with veterans and gold star families, I noticed that speaking of loss and recognizing the pain is one step toward healing.

I wanted to recognize the resilience of the Lyons community after the flood with a memorial: a large bronze statue featuring a bell and a great horned owl building a nest in the crook of a Y-shaped branch. I created it with fellow sculptor James Moore, and it was installed on the flood’s seventh anniversary on September 11 near the Fourth Street bridge, which was ground zero during the flood.

With everything going on, we are so proud of how this community has stepped up for each other. Watch video footage from community members, and continue to make a difference you can see.
We’re pleased to share these inspiring updates from our county’s humane societies – both of which took in pets for short-term shelter during the recent fires – demonstrating how our community comes together in times of crises.

Dear TRENDS Diary -

I am fortunate to be pastor at the Light of Christ Ecumenical Catholic Community. We’re an independent group that experiences God with many of the “smells and bells” of traditional Catholic services, but we also practice “radical inclusion,” opening the sacraments to anyone who wishes to participate, including LGBTQ and divorced people, and female pastors, like me.

The pandemic has been hard on faith communities. We are a place where people come to connect—through Mass and fellowship, movie nights, book clubs, justice and charity work. When COVID hit, all of that was suddenly gone, and the sense of disconnect was profound.

We scrambled to adapt, learning to be creative with the liturgy and figuring out how to connect with older people unfamiliar with new technology and younger people using it so much that they’re burned out. Our theme became “Connection, Communion, Community”—helping people connect, sharing the experience of Communion even when we’re not together, and nurturing the larger community.