Friday, November 29, 2013

What will YOU do about AIDS?

Raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, government, health officials, AIDS service organizations, and people around the globe observe every December 1st as World AIDS Day, with speeches, films, candlelight vigils, and forums on the AIDS topics.  Sunday is the twenty-fifth such observance.

Long before anyone heard the term AIDS, people were already dying. It was "4 H disease," because the first cases were found among homosexuals, hemophiliacs, Haitians, and heroin users. Later the name was changed to GRID, for Gay related immune deficiency. The epidemic began officially on June 5, 1981, when the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported unusual clusters of Pneumocystis pneumonia caused by a form of Pneumocystis carinii in five homosexual men in Los Angeles.  It didn't have an official name until the summer of 1982, when the CDC began referring to the  disease as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS.
 
Over the years, research has been important, but so too has been patient service, education, and erasing the stigma.  Annual events like AIDS Walk and AIDS LifeCycle have been important and so are the many events that take place on World AIDS Day.  Click HERE to get details on today's National AIDS Memorial Grove Observance which begins in Golden Gate Park at 11:30am.  The World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil & Memorial begins at 5pm at Harvey Milk Plaza which is at Castro & Market Streets in San Francisco.  At 7pm there will be an Interfaith World AIDS Day Service at Saint Mark's Lutheran Church, 1111 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco.  Also at 7pm the Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street) screens "We Were Here,"  an AIDS documentary about the San Francisco response to the epidemic.  This is only a partial list of local events and of course there are things happening all over the world.

AIDS is still with us and the fight must continue!  Awareness is such an important part of that fight, so this World AIDS Day, do something and help spread the word.  We can all do something to help in the fight! What will YOU do?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

It's not about the food, it's about the thanks

Thanksgiving Day became an official Federal holiday in 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." Families and friends get together and share meals, watch parades and football on tv, begin their holiday shopping, and enjoy each other's company.  As part of all of this, we pause and are grateful for all we have.
 
On Thanksgiving, some attend church services and some says prayers within their family gathering.  The significant thing here though is the thanks.  In addition to giving thanks to God, it is certainly wonderful to so our appreciation to each other and to all who have been a blessing in our lives.  Giving thanks can take many forms, but it is the key here.  It's not about the turkey, the pumpkin pie, or the Harold Square parade in New York.  All those other things are just added pieces of the celebration.
 
Today, regardless of what you do or where you do it, and whether you eat a huge feast of a simple supper, take a moment to think about all you are grateful for.  Give thanks to God by whatever name you call him, and be thankful for your friends and your family and all those who make a difference in your life.  Today is about thanks-giving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thirty five years later

San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, who were shot and killed in San Francisco City Hall by former Supervisor Dan White on this date thirty-five years ago. White was angry that the Mayor had refused to re-appoint him to his seat on the Board of Supervisors, from which White had just resigned, and that Milk had lobbied heavily against his re-appointment. San Francisco was already reeling from the mass suicides and murders in Johnstown just days before.
 
Moscone's name is not as well known today as Milk's, even though both have buildings named for them.  Harvey Milk has become much better known in death, than he was in life.  Like with John F Kennedy, whom we wrote about here a few days ago, there have been a lot of "what if he had lived?" questions asked.  Certainly nobody knows for sure, but there have been a lot of changes since.  Some might argue that there has not been a mayor as progressive as George Moscone.  There have been other gay Supervisors though, and not just representing the heavily gay Castro district.
 
It is certain that both Moscone and Milk made a difference in this world.  They started some things that have continued following their deaths.  One huge tribute to them is that there have been regularly remembrances of that dark day when they were murdered.  There will be one such remembrance tonight which will include a candlelight vigil.  Tonight's event like most over the years, has been organized.  On the night of the assassinations though it was an impromptu candlelight march started in the Castro and leading to the City Hall steps that was so terribly moving. Tens of thousands of people took part that night with Joan Baez leading "Amazing Grace" along them way.
 
Thirty-five years later we remember these two men.  How fitting too that this date fall on the eve of a day set aside to give thanks.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Philippines still needs help!

In the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan’s horrible devastation, 2.5 million people in the Philippines are in need of emergency assistance as they begin the process of rebuilding.  People all over the world have been very generous, but so much is needed.  This week as we prepare to give thanks here in the United States, let us also share with those is such great need.
 
As I have said before, the best way to donate is through organizations that are already set up and doing this work.  Setting up something new or donating to someone who just set up something takes many and wastes it.  It really needs to get to where it will do the most good.  Go to http://www.redcross.org.ph/donate - the website for The Philippine Red Cross.

The men, women and children in the Philippines are now homeless and who have no clean water or food in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan really need a hand. I think the most direct help can come through the Red Cross, but there are other good organizations set up already that are doing good work. UNICEF is another good way to give.  Click HERE to donate to their efforts.

Monday, November 25, 2013

José: An Underdog Story

If Houston Rockets Point guard Jeremy Lin suddenly showed up for a game of pickup basketball, what would you do?  José was already picking up his life when he met Jeremy, but that day he got an extra boost. 
 
This is the latest video from The Jubilee Project and like their other efforts it will move you.  Please click HERE to watch.  The story of José is also about a wonderful program here in San Francisco's Tenderloin.  More about them at http://www.sfcityimpact.com
 
We have written here often about The Jubilee Project because we really like their work.  Get to know more about them at http://jubileeproject.org/ - oh and by the way, Jeremy Lin has worked with them before.  Another very moving video called The Last Pick can be seen HERE.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Who is there

The 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who is expected to simulcast in 94 countries tomorrow, setting a Guinness Book World Record  for the largest simulcast for a drama in television history.  Doctor Who has already set some impressive records over the years (fifty years in itself is pretty impressive) - it is the longest running science fiction series ever on broadcast tv.
 
Doctor Who first appeared on BBC1 on Saturday, 23 November, 1963.  It has a cult following in the United States with conventions popping up across the country.  Today there are even all-day Doctor Who parties planned!  The very first broadcast though was not seen here back on that November day.  Most Americans were focused then on mourning the death of President John F Kennedy.
 
I'm not a Doctor Who expert (although I do know there have been eleven doctors and the police call booth is the method of transportation), but I am certain that this one tv show has made a huge difference in many lives.  It has brought people together.  It has been the subject of numerous conversations.  It has made people happy.  Making a difference can come in so many forms!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Camelot? I think not

Camelot is how many have referred admiringly to the presidency of John F Kennedy, as his time in office was said to have potential and promise for the future, and so many were inspired by Kennedy's speeches, vision, and policies.  But Camelot?  Really? 

It took me a while, but I finally saw it.  Camelot, the once-popular show, is actually a mediocre musical about failed idealism and it really doesn't do Kennedy justice.  In the past few weeks there have been a lot of "What if Kennedy had not been killed?" stories.  We have examined his murder over and over and we have gazed into our crystal balls and guessed what he might have done.  Is this at all fair to his memory?  Weren't there some accomplishments that we can give credit for instead?

Every single person who has been a US president has had accomplishments.  Each one of them have done good things for the country and for others.  We remember the bad about some of them and we look at the hopes for the ones we lost early, but in the case of John Kennedy, we have spent an awful lot of time writing a fairy tale and Jacqueline Kennedy helped us do it.  Lerner and Loewe's musical opened on Broadway in 1960, but it was not until after the assassination that Mrs Kennedy, in a magazine interview gave us the connection.

The article reported that, according to the First Lady, the President liked listening to the cast recording of Camelot at bedtime, particularly the title song, where Arthur sings: "Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief, shining moment, that was known as Camelot."  Jacqueline Kennedy also said "There will be great presidents again, but there will never be another Camelot."
 
It was fifty years ago that the Kennedy Presidency was cut short by a bullet in Dallas.  It was fifty years ago that the Camelot that has been suggested, came to a tragic close.  As we remember this great man's death though I'd like to suggest that we have had other presidents that have given us hope.  We have had other administrations that we might have been tempted to compare to Camelot, but let's not do that with any of them.  Let us instead remember his strong leadership during the Cuban missile crisis that ultimately diverted a nuclear war and led  to the nuclear test ban treaty with the Soviets.  Let us remember his commitment to the arts, his commitment to landing a man on the moon, and his strong commitment to his faith (he was the first Roman Catholic in the White House).  Kennedy's most notable and long-standing accomplishment was probably the establishment of the Peace Corps, which is so important that I intend to write more about it later in the days ahead.
 
John Kennedy most certainly made a difference in this world and it is my hope that we remember him for that and forget about all the "what ifs?" which we can never no an answer to.  His call for Americans to serve their country has remained in my mind all these years and is perhaps one of the reasons I write this every day.  It's not about the fairy tales of Camelot but about the accomplishments of doing for your country, and the world.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Remembering our trans sisters and brothers

Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.  In recent years other members of the transgender community who have died from other causes have also been memorialized.  Tonight, candles will be lit in towns and cities all over the world to not only remember the dead, but also to bring attention to the lack of equality that we are still faced with.
 
I want to call to your attention an international memorial page that lists names (and cause of death) and invites you to add names of people you notice missing.  Click HERE to go to that site.
 
I also want to add a personal note.  This year a number of trans women and men died here in the San Francisco area.  Some were known by only a few and others by the entire community.  Jazzie Collins was a pioneer who was an activist in many arenas not just the trans community.  A program remembering those here locally, including Jazzie, will be held beginning at 6pm tonight at The LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street in San Francisco. 
 
If there is an event in your town, I urge your participation.  We need to see an end to the hate crimes and discrimination.  We need to honor those who have fought the good fight.  We should always remember our transgender sisters and brothers.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

how much can you give?

Someone calls you on the phone and asks for a donation or you receive a letter in the mail or perhaps there is a posting on someone's blog that you regularly read. You want to make a donation but you don't think you can afford it or you think the small amount you might give is not really worth it.

Very few of us can donate money to every single cause that comes along, even if we want to. So, just how much can you give? When is it time to step back and donate no more?

In the few lines I write here every day, it would be impossible to give all of the answers on any subject and giving of money is one of the most difficult of all. The best advice I can give is to plan. Don't just reach into your pocket every single time someone asks. Very soon the well would be dry!

Another important thing to remember is that when giving money, EVERY SINGLE DONATION MATTERS. Sometimes we tend to forget that. We think that smaller donations don't matter, but it is those numerous small donations that add up to the big ones!

One thing I like to do is collect money at home for various causes. You can take a few envelopes or jars or even piggy banks and use them to grow donations. One might be for the money you want to give to your church (apart from what you usually give) for some special program or ministry. Another container might be to give money to fight AIDS or cancer or any number of other diseases. You get the idea. You can even have a collection for an unknown cause, just in case something comes up that you want to give to.

Do you usually buy yourself a desert every afternoon, or maybe a coffee? Skip a day (or two or three) and put the money you saved in the jar(s). If you earn a little extra at work (overtime maybe) or doing some special job, put all or at least a part of that in your charity collection jars. Every time you have a little extra money in your pocket, add it to that jar or envelope.

By planning to give something to various causes, you can do so comfortably without fearing that you will leave yourself broke. Saying no is okay too. Always be aware of your limits.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Be O.N.E. Project

For years I have been telling you about Go Inspire Go and for months I have been telling you about their 50/50 campaign - 50 heroes in 50 states.  Well today their website has a new look and what's more, today the first video is premiered!
 
Please watch.  It, like all of their previous videos, is very moving.  This one introduces us to Matthew Kaplan, 16, the founder of the The Be O.N.E. Project, which he created for middle school students in Arizona to stop bullying behavior before it even begins.  Matthew is indeed making a difference in this world and I am so delighted that GiG 50/50 is introducing him to us!  Click HERE to see the video.
 
As always you can find out more about Go Inspire Go at their website:  http://goinspirego.com/

Friday, November 15, 2013

Everyone smiles in the same language

I am convinced that there is just not enough happiness in the world. Why? No matter how bad anything is, there is always reason to go on. Things can always get better.

I know. Someone is going to say, "What if the doctor says you have only a few days to live"? Well, doctors can be wrong. I have heard many stories confirming that very fact. I even know a woman who was told just after her 60th birthday, that it would be her last. In fact, she was told she had only a few months to live. That woman is now 92!

We so often have trouble trusting these days. We have difficulty communicating too. Does he speak the same language as I do? Will we understand the meaning of our intentions? All of these things are valid of course, but one thing we seem to overlook. Happiness is easy to spot and easy to understand. Happiness is very easy to spread too. Happy people are more likely to make others happy.

Whatever part of the world you come from - whatever your race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or eye color, one thing is universal. We all smile in the same language!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Twenty

I've told this story before about how special we all are, but I really like it and some of you might not have read my blog the day I told this before, so here it is again.  A well-known speaker started off his seminar holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this."
 
He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air. "Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now, who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We may feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE. You are special - Don't EVER forget it."

As I mentioned above, I am retelling this wonderful story, and the first time I posted it, it was a retelling too. I have no idea who first told it - it's been circulating on the internet for some time.  The significant thing is the messages it brings.  We are all special.  We should all count our blessings, and NOT our problems!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

No mugging zone

A friend of mine was mugged the other day. He wasn't badly hurt, but it could have been worse. I keep hearing about more and more muggings. What can be done? How do we respond to this?

Of course you cannot just put up signs tell people not to mug others and the police cannot be everywhere. Much of the work in these cases is up to us.

There are a number of things we can all do to make us less likely targets. Pay attention to your surroundings and avoid distractions. You become an easier target when do things like listen to music on headphones, talk on the phone, or anything else that takes your attention away from your surroundings. If you believe you are being followed, head quickly toward a populated area. Make noise, blow a whistle, or call for help. Don't be afraid to draw attention to yourself. Consider defending yourself IF you have the skills. Also, Travel with others whenever you can. Muggers are much more likely to go after individuals than groups.

Another thing: witnesses need to react. We are all in this world together. If you see someone being attacked, render assistance! You don't have to put yourself in danger. Call 911. Scream! Get others involved. Call for medical aide if it is needed.

Of course we can all work for a better world too where people care enough about each other that they don't go around attacking each other. We can always hope.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

REAL relief

The Philippine government has already revised the official death toll from Typhoon Haiyan several times, and sadly the final death toll is expected to be even higher.  The injured and the missing also comprise huge numbers.  There is so much destruction.  People are trying to help, and that is a good thing.  People are also trying to make a buck off of the suffering of others, and that is not a good thing.
 
We see scams all the time, but when they come in times of disaster, it is especially bad.  The people of the Philippines have already endured more than most folks could stand.  Now, they could use a hand - now they could use some REAL relief, not a moneymaking scheme for an unscrupulous person.
 
Some people have tried to start organizations to deal with this tragedy - some have even tried this legitimately.  Here's  the thing though:  there are already tons of organizations up and running that can and will bring relief.  Let's use those that are tried a true.  As an example, there is doctors without borders, the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF, and others.  Donate.  Volunteer.  Do it though through channels that are going to do actual good and bring real relief.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Give us this day our daily blog

It's almost like a prayer, as each morning I put my fingers to the keyboard and tell another story here about making a difference.  Some of my posts are about local heroes and sometimes they are about famous people.  I write with suggestions and ideas about what all of us can do to make the world better.  I don't write about me - I write about US.  We together really can do some pretty wonderful things.  We all can change things for the better and truly make a difference.  That's what I write about.
 
Day after day and year after year I write something here, and I am grateful to each of you who read this.  Tell your friends.  Post your comments.  Give us ideas.  You can really make a difference and if you take something from here and do something great with it, how wonderful!  Let us know about it.
 
I have no idea how many different people read this, but I am happy that you can here today.  You can become a regular follower and never miss a post.  I'll keep on blogging and I hope you keep on reading!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Protecting your identity

If you have ever had your identity stolen, you know what a hassle it can be. Actually it's more of a horror. If this is something you have never heard about, it is not literally possible to steal an identity of course, what we are talking about here is when anyone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, your driver's license number, Social Security, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit a fraud. Cases of identity theft are on the rise.

Why do I mention this now? Well, December is Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month. It's a good time to become more aware of who might have access to your personal information and who might misuse it.

Being watchful is a big help. Always go over your bank statements for example. Also, did you know that you are entitled to one free credit report per year of each of the three national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion)? Just go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com

California is really leading the way in fighting a kinds of identity theft. Most states have followed California's lead and have enacted mandatory data breach notification laws. Under these laws, companies that report a data breach will typically report it to all their customers.

Stay safe. Protect your personal information and protect the information of your dependents. Share this information too. We all need to be aware. The earlier you catch any problems, the easier they are to resolve.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Promote what you love

What is there in your life that you love?  Does your job bring you joy?  Are you happy in your home life?  Is there romance?  Do you belong to any organizations that give meaning to you?  Did you hear about some incredible thing in the news that really made you happy?
 
There is so much good in this world of ours and I happily write about bits and pieces of that good here in this space each morning.  What I don't understand is those who promote negativity.  How can that bring them any kind of satisfaction?  Bashing something you hate just brings more hate.  We should never want more hate.
 
I remember when eleven women broke the barrier against the ordination of women to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church  back on July 29, 1974.  So many hateful things were said back then.  Someone went to a church where one of these new priests was serving and at communion dug is fingers into her arms and said "I hope you burn in hell."  When marriage equality began in a few limited places ten years ago, some of the comments I heard were so vile, I won't even repeat them here.
 
Okay, I get it.  Not everyone thinks the same way.  That's fine.  Absolutely nothing wrong with that.  Instead of negative hateful messages though, perhaps we can look at some things we agree on.  Certainly there must be something!  Let's promote the things we love instead of bashing what we hate.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Always hunger somewhere

Too much to eat? Restaurant portions are often much larger than they need to be and as a result we sometimes leave a lot on our plates. Think about asking for a bag for those leftovers and giving them to the first homeless person you encounter. It’s a simple act. It didn’t cost you anything extra. It can really help ease the hunger being experienced by someone else.

This is just one of the many things we can do every single day to give back and help others. Another possibility is ordering two sandwiches when you place your lunch take-out order. One is for you of course, and the other you simply hand to someone in need that you come across on your way back to work. Yes, this one cost a little, but if you can afford it, it will surely be appreciated!

During November and December there are food donation barrels all over the place and organizations do special holiday lunches or dinners for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and sometimes Easter but the rest of the year (except for the weekly soup kitchens and meal programs that exist in major cities) we don’t see this outreach, yet the need still exists. People are hungry every single day of the year. Let’s keep that spirit alive that is so evident during the holidays and do what we can to ease hunger. Simple steps like those above are a place to start and we can also look for year-round food pantries and meal programs to donate to.

If the need is great where you live and it looks like nothing is happening, perhaps you could be the one to start a program!  If you are barely getting by and really cannot afford any extra expense, perhaps you can volunteer for a food program.  That is certainly helpful too!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Listening in the night

It's been a while since I wrote here about San Francisco Night Ministry and since their work never stops it seems like a good time to mention them once again. (Of course you can always click on the link to the right and visit their website too).

San Francisco is not a wild twenty-four hour city with all night discos, theatres, night clubs and restaurants going strong all night seven days a week. Some might even say we are one of those places where the sidewalks get rolled up early. An awful lot of folks have no place to go from those sidewalks though and that is only part of the problem. There is also the need that people sometimes have after hours - after the regular services close for the day. Sometime people just need a friendly ear. San Francisco Night Ministry is available every single night of the year and not just with ministers walking the streets, but also staffing a nightly crisis line which you may telephone.

To serve others and to do it when the need is there, not just when it's convenient, is something the Night Ministry has done for a long time. They can always use a hand of course and this includes donating money or supporting their various fundraising events or simply volunteering to lend a hand. Sometimes they could use help in the office in the daytime too.

Would you like to help them? Why not join them as a Crisis Line Counselor? Check out their website at http://www.sfnightministry.org/ or contact Brother Jude at 415-861-7951 or by email at judehillssf@aol.com

Night Ministry sponsors an "Open Cathedral" ministry in the daytime - weekly non-denominational outdoor worship services for anyone who wishes to attend. Singing, praying, preaching and the Eucharist are offered, followed by opportunities for private conversation, prayer, blessing or the same counseling that is offered at night. Everyone is welcome to attend. Open Cathedral gatherings happen rain or shine. The Civic Center plaza one has been around the longest. They gather every Sunday at 2pm at Leavenworth and McAllister, near United Nations Plaza. Lunch is offered following the service, and worship attendance is not required to participate in the lunch.

How wonderful that San Francisco Night Ministry is here offering hope and comfort in the darkness of the night.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Come Holy Ghost

Saturday marked an anniversary that I will long remember.  It was ten years ago that The Most Reverend Frank Tracy Griswold and six co-consecrating bishops, laid hands on the Reverend V Gene Robinson, making him a Bishop of the Episcopal Church and the first one to be openly gay at the time of his consecration.  It was a great day.  It was a happy day.  It was a giant step for Christians.  It was also a day filled with controversy.
 
I wasn't there in New Hampshire that day, but I watched every single moment as it streamed live. It's interesting for me to revisit the consecration of  Bishop Gene Robinson because we really have come a long way since then.  The Episcopal Church has since elected and consecrated another gay bishop, a woman.  Other denominations are ordaining openly gay clergy.  Marriage equality has come to many part of the world including 14 US states.  Still there is a long way to go.
 
One thing that stands out in my mind is the danger that was feared.   Robinson had to wear a bullet proof!  They even had a contingency plan if shots were fired or a bomb went off. If Robinson was still alive there was another place he was to be taken to along with Presiding Bishop Griswold and two other bishops and the consecration would go forward with a photographer also present to prove it happened. I remember this because on such a joyful day there was also this dread.
 
Progress doesn't  just have happy moments. There are those fearful, dreadful times too.  We need to have our Gene Robinsons to help pave our ways.  The Holy Spirit was there in that place and continues to be with us ready to kindle the fire in our hearts.  We cannot give up.  We have to continue to look to the future and to more wonderful moments like the days hands were laid on the man who, as a child had perfect Sunday School attendance for thirteen years and who, as an adult became a symbol of hope for all who value equality.
 
 

Friday, November 1, 2013

I mean to be one too

A popular hymn begins with this line:  "I sing a song of the saints of God."  It was written by a young Englishwoman, Lesbia Scott and first published back in 1929.  I mention this today because the hymn will be sung in a lot of churches all across the country, as this is All Saints' Day, the origin of which cannot be traced with exact certainty, but which has been observed on various days in different places and now most Catholics and Anglicans observe it on November 1st.
 
Today we honor of all the saints, known and unknown.  In the belief that there is a prayerful spiritual bond between those in heaven and those still living, we honor not only the named saints (such as those pictured in the icon here), but all the faithful.  The word all is important  to me here because I firmly believe that it is not just about the Blessed Virgin Mary, Blessed Paul the Apostle, Blessed Michael the Archangel, and the rest.  It is about every single person because we all have the ability to do good things and to make a difference.
 
Lesbia Scott's words seem to say the same thing.  She lists a doctor, a queen, and a shepherdess in her first verse and then continues the list adding a soldier and a priest and one who was slain, in verse number two.  It's really the third verse though that give me the greatest hope:

"They lived not only in ages past,
There are hundreds of thousands still.

The world is bright with the joyous saints
Who love to do Jesus' will.
You can meet them in school, or in lanes, or at sea,
In church, or in trains, or in shops, or at tea;
For the saints of God are just folk like me,
And I mean to be one too."