Sunday, October 23, 2011

The activity, the excitement,the expectation

Andrea is in front of the church on Amsterdam talking to Esther, an old friend, about what has happened with our kids since soccer days. Ellen has just arrived ready to go biking with Andrea. I am with my houseguests and new friends from Serbia, Zeljko and Tamara. Ellen and Zeljko quickly discover that they are both documentary filmmakers,though Ellen has a little trouble explaining the term transgender drag queen. We all  go inside. The place is buzzing, popping with activity. 
Jane has a whole crew cleaning, sweeping, polishing getting ready for her initial service at West-Park tomorrow. She’s also cleaning out and preparing the two rooms she will use as an office. This was our administrator’s office and associate pastor’s office back in the day. And more recently the concierge’s office and apartment in the Tenant.
Sarah, Danielle  and a friend are hard at work preparing new outdoor signage for the church.  Cool, clear, clean, consistent. 
Andrea and Ellen head out to bike and I give Zeljko and Tamara the tour. They are impressed by the space, Zeljko sees comparisons with similar places ravaged by war or just time back in Serbia. And they’re impressed by the number of young adults all over the place. We talk about doing something with him here when he comes back in March. (God willing, if we’re still here...)He’s in the US looking for support for his current project, a film about the meeting betwen the Serbian soldier who shot down an American F117 Stealth fighter jet during the Balkan War (the only one anywhere ever to do so) and the American pilot who was shot down. 
Jeremy’s preparing for tomorrow. So last night we both missed Pete Seeger on his canes and his family and Arlo Guthrie as they marched right down Broadway a block from here on their way to Occupy Columbus  Circle. 
Sarah wants to interview me.Get me to give her 5 or 6 did you know’s. EG, the largest demonstration (up until the Iraq war) in American history was planned right here, the first church in New york City  to welcome openly gay folks at every level of leadership was right here, God's love we deliver started right here; in the 1960‘s, we welcomed immigrant refugees from Cuba, including Cuban Chinese, right here; etc. 
While we’re talking, a man comes in, wanting to see me. He’s got a long story about his journey from Cuba, medical problems, harassment on the steps of SPSA, can’t buy his medicine. My $15 is todo que yo tengo, tengo nada mas a dar se. He has seen people sleeping on our steps, including morenos y latinos. Wants to know if its seguro. I tell him he’s got to go somewhere where they can really help like Goddard and Project Reachout.  
I leave to see Zeljko and Tamara off to their return to Serbia. Then come back to work on tomorrow’s service. Jane has ordered up Chirping Chicken for everyone. It’s been a long day. But I love to see the activity, the excitement, the expectation. 

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