Sunday, January 30, 2011

Can we speak to the heart?

Eleanor and I are drinking coffee, a few blocks down the street as fresh snow is falling. She was one of my best interns in 2000-01. Did this amazing project on race in America,  Parallel Lives. Got ordained in the UCC church. Served at the liberal Greenwich Village church Judson Memorial. . Took time off for children. Now she’s ready to be involved again.  And I want it to be with us.
There is much organizational, administrative work to be done. But that could never be the limit of her work. She does that at home, she says. I know I desperately need help. Her sense of call is equally important. She wants,needs, to be able to gather a group of women, share experiences, stories...go deep, to the heart. She shares my sense that for her peers, the old denominational life as we have known it is dead, of little interest. We must find a way to speak to the heart. Or not bother. 
I tell her these are exactly the people I want to create space for at West-Park. One of our “community of communities” that could begin to redefine the space, and redefine church praxis. Working through our connection could be a fun challenge. Developing intentionality is also a necessity, that is being clear as to what it is we intend to do with a strategic plan as to how to get there. She’ll think about it. We’ll see what happens next.
At Barney Greengrass, I notice a San Francisco Giants World Series hat and shirt behind the counter. I knew that last week the Giants  came to town to share their banner with their old neighborhood, Harlem. Willie Mays himself, once the Say Hey Kid  in Harlem, played centerfield for the Giants and stickball with the neighborhood kid, came to talk to the public school children where his ballpark once stood.  Back in the day when the Giants were the Manhattan team, Barney Greengrass was one of their spots. I like that the connection continues. The Dodgers live on in Brooklyn nostalgia, the old Giants all but vanished. 

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