Friday, May 24, 2013

Ecclesiastical hangover


Brief in between stopover at the church. Between the lectionary study and a meeting at the Presbyterian United Nations mission. A common response from colleagues is that yesterday’s interminable Presbytery meting  in the furthest north neighborhood in the Bronx has resulted in ecclesiastical hangover.  Which my friend Mark connects to an uncontrollable desire for Ben and Jerry’s. 

From last night, the Woodlawn section of the Bronx, right on the Yonkers border, feels almost normal in the context of New York City. Small one  family houses with driveways. A sense of space. In an empty Presbyterian Church, we have  established a new Ghanaian congregation. In the whitest neighborhood in the Bronx. A growing home to Irish immigrants.Ghanaians are in the south and west of the Bronx,not the  far northeast. Is this a good idea? The congregation is growing but.....

Stephen has the latest on the Red Bull concert. Later we’ll met with Marc to begin to figure out how to clear the space for the concert next  week. A major undertaking. While we are talking, Angelo appears. he is like a will o' the wisp, or one of his angelitos, to invite me to an opening at a major midtown gallery tomorrow.

I see Deacon James near a coffee cart on 86th. His voice is high and reedy. My voice is my age!Aint no teenager anymore...And the conversation goes to hassles with the Veterans Administration and chemo and...

There’s an old man. Always wearing a  Fargo hat  even in the warmest of weather. I lean  close. Hear: He  that believeth in me shall not perish but have everlasting life. I say Amen. He looks at me and responds, Amen. And then wanders off. 

Another man walks up, looks the church doors and says  Shit hole, and walks off. Well then.

As the day ends, the Sanctuary choir has gathered in the sanctuary with Jeremy.  I hear them sing what if God was one  of us, with Teresita on the lead. I’ve heard it too many times. But I am happy they are here.

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