Friday was a good time at the International Church of Cannabis.
Steve was up first - he told the congregation that, along with Co-Founding Members Lee and Briley, the court date was set for a trial by a jury of their peers on Sept. 25. They are in court to face the ridiculous charges the City Attorney had pressed to waste the money of Colorado taxpayers.
Steve asked the congregation for their support on their trial date before introducing one of the first members to join our congregation, Rockin’ Ray Fiore.
Rockin’ Ray with his signature cut-off sleeves look, and wearing his cross around his neck, gets up to testify. Ray gives us the interesting and moving tale of growing up with the “Son of Satan” as his father and the “Sister of Mother Mary” as his mother. Ray had a tough upbringing, for sure. His father beat him, he was thrown out of school for being a smart ass, but, even so, he was able to find relief in his love of Jesus and the cannabis sacrament.
“I loved Jesus so much that I’d been seeking the church,” Ray said. “They didn’t find me, I found them. Jesus, Joints and Ginger Ale - my three favorite things.”
Ray goes on to tell us how, more recently, through fellowship with his fellow Elevationists he discovered some edibles to reduce his high blood pressure that worked much better than his pharmaceuticals.
“God made grass and man made chemicals, so who do you trust?” Ray asks sagely.
Ray then told us how he got involved in boxing and redirecting his rage, before Steve asked a few follow up questions, particularly about how Ray was a first responder after 9/11 - something he is perhaps too humble to bring up himself. Ray discussed the horrors of serving as a citizen volunteer, digging people from the rubble. He spoke of the PTSD from which he suffered years later - caused by memories of the disaster. He also told of the community coming together and how he was able to use cannabis to deal with his trauma.
“Thank you for letting me share a little bit of the story of my life – it’s been a tough road. But, with marijuana I have been able to not kill anyone, or kill myself,” Ray declares, with a smile and a glint in his eye, “So, marijuana saves lives.”
Next, Steve introduces Ken Boiarsky - Ken is an attorney, but he is also a musician and expert on the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Ken tells the congregation how Bach rebelled against musical orthodoxy and changed the way people played the keyboard from then on.
He then sits at the keyboard and the haunting melodies captivate the room. The music of Bach elevated us all. It is awesome, beautiful, and inspires some interesting questions from the congregation that Ken answers with charm and wit.
Finally, Steve introduces our final guests for the evening, Robyn and Gregory Gisbert. These musical siblings shared some original and cover songs with Robyn on the keyboards and vocals, while Gregory, appropriately attired in a cannabis leaf T-shirt played the flugelhorn.
The experience was wonderful, with brother and sister playing together with an ease that comes from decades of familiarity. It was hard not to be moved.
Once the Gisberts had finished wowing us all, the majority of us headed out to the patio to enjoy the potluck barbecue dinner to which several people contributed so generously.
What a night!