Sunday, February 19, 2012

Definitely home

Back to West-Park after four days in Louisville. I’ll only say that the crisis in mainline Protestantism is visible at every level,  in our church from the national to the presbytery to the local congregation.
Danielle’s in on a Saturday to catch up on a few things. I ask Steve to sit down, talk with him about any connections  he might have in finding an attorney, specifically one with knowledge about insurance and companies that go bankrupt. It has been really hard getting this advice and the whole issue is still hanging over us. He's got several  places to check.  Rafael drops in just to say Hi.
Rev. Sekou arrives for our conversation.  First he has to vent about the Living Wage Campaign folks apparently selling out and his overall frsutation with Occupy Faith. Lack of black preachers from the Bronx or Brooklyn or Latin Pentecostals. We each have our issues with liberals. Just want to start my own church, he says. But first he wants to catch up with what’s going on with West-Park, What do I want? he asks me.  I say for me, the visions are clear, the pathway, the details, never quite so much.
We both want to see worship, study and action. But Sekou likes alliteration, so he’s for worship, word and witness.  Will we try something different or at the same time? I ask him to come check out West-Park,on a Sunday, see what he thinks. And we agree to do a Bible Study, revolutionary Bible Study, on the Gospel of Mark, using Binding the Strong Man by Ched Myers. And I still want a night to discuss his Gods, Gays and Guns: Religion and the Future of Democracy. Sekou plays me his own setting of We Shall Overcome on the Piano. Kind of bluesy in a minor key.  He looks over his shoulder and sees the police in to talk with Danielle and as he plays, I talk about that ongoing realtionship.

Sekou was late because he was watching Whitney Houston's funeral from Newark. She came from someplace,he says. And i think of my Newark students and our clas on Theologies of Liberation. 

Hugo and Arcadia come in. They too are late from watching Whitne Houston's funeral. This ha stouched people more deeply than I realized.  They are here to  finish plans for tomorrow’s service marking the third anniversary of  Arcadia’s son Adham’s death. It will be our first time to have that commemoration here. Arcadia has brought in an interesting gallery of photographs of tatoos that Adham’s friends have  gotten in his memory. His sneakers thown over a phone line, dragon flies, names,dates...And Arcadia also has what was given to her recently, the last picture of Adham alive that night he died. Eating a muffin outisde a Dunkin Donuts on 122nd, blocks from where he died on the subway tracks. This is still hard. We talk about finishing the service with a Whitney Houston song. And of course, Bob Marley.
I excuse myself for a minute because I see RL out there with a young woman. Sarah, a writer, a poet. He’s got ideas for a poetry open mike. And how maybe how Sarah andAmnada could work together on festivals.  
Outside, Requiem and Rose  have set up a table and are holding an old fashioned bake sale. With brownies that Jean has baked. Curious neighbors stopping by. I am definitely home. 

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