Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I know you guys are liberal


Two Iranian-American women have come to talk to me about their upcoming protest of Ahmenidjab’s visit to the United Nations. They are armed with binders of photos, articles, testimonies. I don’t need to be convinced of the horrors experienced under his regime. But they clearly also feel the need to talk. Fara has lost two sisters. I agree that they can speak to us on Sunday. Pass out fliers in front of the church. I recommend they speak to my friends Ken and Peggy who were missionaries in Iran for many years before the revolution. 

Teddy and I draw the short stick on today’s clean up patrol. As we’re washing, Antonio walks by with his two dogs. What’s up man? hails Teddy. Antonio responds emphatically and incomprehensibly. We agree we’ll have to go to the precinct office this afternoon. When I go back inside, I say to Danielle, Sadly, this is the easy part of this job...upsetting as it is, you spend an hour, it’s done....

Deacon James stops in on hisway back from the doctor. I tell him I miss him. Every time we clean the steps, I think of the days we did this together.  He laughs. He’s hanging in there. He’ll be there Sunday.

Steven and I meet to discuss next steps on the social media project. 

Then Teddy and I head to the precinct. The desk sergeant is not enthusiastic. You welcome those guys, you can’t have it both ways. You churches  got the court to declare your steps sacred ground. 
Church and state, you know? We stop at the steps....

Teddy says, Yeah, I know, but here’s the thing. The guy’s sick, he’s in bad shape....there’s public health issues here...

Before the sergeant responds, he looks up, quickly picks up the phone, says ten-hut..puts the phone back down and salutes the captain who has just walked in. When the captain has passed, Teddy says, I liked how you did that, good move, lettin the guys upstairs know the captains on his way up...I liked that...

The sergeant softens a little. Look, I know you guys are liberal...Occupy Wall Street and all that...

Teddy says, Yeah, I know, I gave you the tour when you guys dropped by...

The sergeant looks at him, Yeah, you treated us right. Real stand up. Let me get the CR  officer.

He returns with the Community Relations. The understanding is, of we see Edward, call 911, they’ll come.  If all else fails, I’ll come back and file papers closing the steps. Edward will have pushed us to where we never wanted to go...we walk back to the church, back down Amsterdam. A gentle rain is falling, the sun out. Teddy teases me, Hey this is kinda romantic, me and you walkin in the rain   a sun shower...

Back at the church, Martin and I finish the Noche contract. Finally.

Upstairs, Berik’s latest opening has drawn his biggest audience yet. 

As I leave, Gregory is sitting there. Sentinel. 

A Saturday work day. Luisa, Teddy, Seven and Jay all there to help get the church ready for Sunday, ready for fall. So much to clear out. It’s an ongoing puzzle, where to put what you don’t want to throw out. Biggest issue is of course, Rachelle’s accumulation. Steven tells me she has taken a room at Capital Hall. (Our annex?) Sometimes I feel we should be put on retainer as the designated chaplaincy of the place.  Getting rid of stuff is so frustrating. Must be done. Bit by bit we clear out all the corners. 

When we step outside for a moment,  we see that Edward has conducted a hit and run stealth attack on the church. How  does that happen? Those steps were clean when we got here...ya know what? It’s someone else’s turn...I did it yesterday, says Teddy. with exasperation. So Steven, Jay and I drag the hoses and was the steps, having to direct away into a detour the waves of people returning home after shabbos services. 

We finish by setting up the table for tomorrow. Getting out the candles. The sanctuary is almost ready.

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