Friday, January 14, 2011

Our window is small

So what would be the story behind one surgical glove? Makes you wonder...
Today’s breakfast with my attorney. Slowly he moves from skeptic to ally as he begins to understand the vision. That we’re not talking about a real estate deal, but a process. And he begins to see why people  would be excited about the vision. But he’s right about the strategy to move ahead, beyond a dream.  That we have an opportunity to move our presbytery beyond its internecine battles to a place of moving forward. That we are in a context of a dying mainstream tradition with new life happening around the edges and that we have to be able to make clear that this is not just one more attempt for little West-Park to keep hanging on, but about something that’s bigger than West-Park, something that could be a model. That would need research, input from around the country. I know the people who could do that, who are doing it. Our window is small. Voices other than ours have to see the hope and lift it up before a preoccupied body. We need to be able to describe it with clarity. David against Goliath is not enough. We’ve said from the start that this is not about our small congregation but maintaining a place, an opportunity for reformed presence and witness in the center of the Upper West Side. There is no crowd  of traditional Presbyterians out there looking for a church. We need to somehow be able to engage those who are “spiritual but not religious.” Those who have been hurt, burned by the church or pushed out. (Like the West-Park of the ’80’s was, only in a new day.) An opportunity to move the church away from its self-absorbed irrelevance to living authentic presence. “Lunatic fringe with a strategic plan,” as Rick says. Not an easy task. With allies, we maybe can do it, he says. But without, sisyphusian at least, improbable at best. Only with allies do we have a  chance.
Waiting for a response from our city council member? Will she respond? if not, what then? I stop by her neighborhood office on my way home to see if i can set up a meeting.

1 comment:

  1. Yes West Park needs to create a new model community. There are many examples, such as Secret City downtown, and even new theater models that dont involve sitting in one spot watching a play, but becoming engaged in a set of ideas and in a community.