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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Columbus Day


10/10
Columbus Day. Supposed to be a day off but....I meet Hope on the steps. We go to Popovers for conversation. One of the core issues is how to make clear the church’s welcome to lgbtq people. Not just as our heritage, but an ongoing commitment. How does the church fully realize its gospel calling? How does West-Park carve out, create its living witness in the context of what is going on around us and in the context of a church whose historic reality is already past?
While we are talking, I’m not aware that Ji Young has come to the church. She had come Friday afternoon to pick up her check. Shared her ongoing struggles with her daughter Miranda. Tuesday is Miranda’s birthday. I promised to help. Having missed her at West-Park, I’ll have to head down to Times Square to meet her. I’m getting anxious about time. 

                                                       * * * * 
It’s late at night. I’m helping Nate with an assignment for his public speaking course. After an hour of frustration, the home internet simply will not cooperate. I head to the church to us the wifi. Get his paper to him. Then in the quiet of the office, watch Helen Whitney’s powerful film on Forgiveness. We will show Part 2 Tuesday night. Helen herslef will be  there.  The film itself is profoundly moving opening up the complexity of the issues and the way it has become a much more central question for individuals and societies. Part 1 deals with, among other examples, the Amish reponse to the murder of their children, a brutal axe attack against two innocent women in a park in Oregon and the aftermath for both the victims and the small town, and the case  of Katherine Powers, a fugitive from a politically motivated bank robbery/homicide in the Vietnam era and what atonement really means even as we continue to bear the scars of that era. (For more information see http://www.pbs.org/programs/forgiveness/ The film is also available through Netflix.)
As I head home at almost 3 AM, there are five people asleep on the steps. Not only two cardboard beds but two dwellings have been created. All that cardboard has been seeen tucked away between the wall and scaffolding on Sunday. Deacon James  says that he gets people to leave in the morning, but something held him back from throwing away the cardboard. Andre was not too sure about that. And I too...Anyways, there are five. This is getting worse. 

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