Friday, January 6, 2012

The twelfth day of Christmas: Occupiers, musicians, plumbers, a flamenco singer and six Lutheran students seeking to discern their call to ministry

Michael Moore was at West-Park last night. 
Came to see the spokescouncil at work. And give encouragement. Impressed by the growth he’s seen since he visited the movement at Zucotti.
Jason and I are talking about how last night went when Martin arrives with one of his singers, Manuel. Wants to know if he can show him around,test out the sound.  I say, of course, and Martin takes Manuel inot the sanctuary. And for a few minutes, the sanctuary is filled with the passionate sound of flamenco singing. 
As Manuel is finishing, four young people with back packs come in. They have just hitchiked in from Occupy Pittsburgh. My ears always open up when I hear my hometown. Turns out one is from Pittsburgh and the other three from Grand Junction, Colorado who stopped in Pittsburgh and stayed.  Hitchhiked all the way.
Jason is explaining to them how they’ll have to go downtown and register and go through a process before they can be assiged a place to stay. But given their travel, he offers them a moment to warm up before leaving. And some food. In a few minutes he comes back to tell me there’s a lot of water running in the basement. 
I go down to check it out in the kitchen. And see it's coming through the ceiling. So I go upstairs and am horrified to see water pouring through the ceiling of the chapel, onto the floor and through. Water splashing off the table. Barely missing art from the Heaven and Earth exhibit. 
So I go upstairs into Mc Alpin. Seems to e coming from the bar area, but nothing visible. Jason and I remove the door and check. But nothing can be seen. So I call Chris the plumber. This is the worst I’ve seen in a long time. I’m worried about the chapel ceiling. 
Jason and I track down the shut off valve for that part of the system, needing to make sure we can shut it down without impacting the boiler. It works.
David Grundberg comes in, still wanting to secure details about his upcoming concert. And still later, Colin, a musician friend of Mim’s comes in to check out the acoustics, performing spaces, etc. 
I’m giving tours to musicians while the plumbers are trying to track down the source of the leak. Pastor Elise has brought six young college students from Project Connect, a Lutheran program for students seeking to discern their call to ministry.  She wants them to hear our story. 
So we go to the sanctuary. I ask her if she feels anything different. And she notices the heat. I talk about what it was like to worship in the cold. The sacrament of cafe con leche.  And I talk about our history. But also our present.  And get to introduce Jason, from Occupy. I take them on just a first floor tour, to get a feel for the damage and the creativity. The possibility.

The 747 portable heater is loaded up and taken away forever. 
The plumbers come up and are trying to explain to me what they’ve found. It’s in what they call the domestic water system. They’re going to have to open up the ceiling of the chapel .They can’t fix it until Monday. I’ll have to alert Leila. Keep her show safe. 
Tia arrives to set up for Jane’s night class. The warmth of her office makes her smile. 

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