Thursday, April 19, 2012

Just exactly what is for sale here?

John H has arrived early for our meetig with Whittier  Hamers, Church Interiors. Whittier is coming to assess the value of our Tiffany sanctuary window. He will check it out for above, below, behind. What we learn is that on the one hand, earlier Tiffany’s are more valuable.  Ours should be ten years earlier.  On the other, since it's an interior window, it’s still  in near perfect shape. We’ve got the original contract with Tiffany, for $7700 in 1929, proving authenticity. And in the lower right panel, there’s the autograph of Louis Tiffany himself. On the other,figurative religous art is much harder to market. In short, hard to say.
The very idea of selling it makes me sick. But our back is against the wall. It is historic. But then in the ‘90’s, at the peak of the Enlace de gracia multicultural service, as our church grew in its diversity, the central image of a romantic white Jesus became probelematic. It is not who we are. A barrier to Jews and Muslims as well. But then, there's it’s rededication to Steven Festa. Hisoartner's lovigh memory that Stephen always sw himslef as the child in Jeusus' arms. It's an icon of the trauma of the AIDS era. We will see. Before he goes, I show Whittier the baptismal font, wiht its missing lid. What would a repacement cost? And he wants to know might this, too, be for sale? All 800 pounds of bronze? What exactly is for sale around here?

While we’re finishing with Whittier, detectives Mendez and Telleur show up to do follow up on last Saturday’s wallet theft.  We call Rafael in on this discussion. Certain indications are that this is the  work of a well dressed man who’s been hitting a lot of churches.  Before they leave, Rafael shares what he knows about the baptismal font cover theft. They're impressed with Rafael’s detetive work. 
Detective Mendez wants a bit more of a tour. Loves churches. Was once an altar boy who dreamed of being a priest. 
Danielle and the St. Agnes boys 
Through all of this, our voluteer work group ftrom St. Agnes has been sweeping down both 86th and Amsterdam and other clening throughout the church as part of their  community service requirement. Danielle is their supervisor It’s good to have these young people in their school jacket and ties involved.
UPS shows up with six boxes of t-shirts for the coop’s silk screen business. Steve and Chris are excited to have the raw materialsand are ready to go to work. 
Melisa is in for another visit.  
Hard at work
The silk screen crew
Late at night, I stop back through. The t-shirt business is in full swing. Funny how a project like this leads peopleto set aside the petty dfferences that have been buildig up these last few weeks. There’s a feeling of community, of camaraderie, of sharing . It feels good to see.

Outside, Wesley and Antonia have returned, despite their promise not to. They could well succeed at what no o eelse has efer been able to do...cause us to offcially and legally close our steps.  

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