Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Responsible investment, puppets and a freezing day


When I was growing up, we used to have Washington’s birthday  and Lincoln’s birthday. Now we just mash them together and take a Monday off and call it President’s Day. It should be a day to sleep in,if not take the whole day off, but Marsha and I have an important early appointment.

As I get to the church, I remember that it is going to be difficult to get Joe ad La Toya off the steps i time to open up and as I get there, I just give up. My appointment, Ellie, from the Presbyterian Foundation, is there waiting with her suitcase. So we just go in the side door and I leave the steps as they are.

Marsha soon arrives and we soon start reviewing possibilities of how we might invest our money. From plans that involve responsible investment…historically, no alcohol or tobacco and now we’ve added military and we hope soon no more Caterpillar, Hewlitt-Packard or Motorola. (Aiding and abetting the illegal occupation of the West Bank.) Or investments that are straight up and don’t worry about that. Or permanent endowments that we’ll never touch, just take the earnings or investment in the loan program. Makes my head spin. Marsha takes careful notes.

For tax reasons, the Foundation has its offices not in Louisville, like the rest of the church, but across the river in Jeffersonville, Indiana. For us, it’s even strange to have money to talk about investing. But we do and we’ve made a promise to invest at least some of what we’ve got.

The Session will have to decide. When Marsha leaves, Ellie and I continue our talk. We share some Pittsburgh roots. And of course my time at the seminary.  At the age of 39, she’s getting ready to have her first child. I take her into the sanctuary and give her our tour, the whole archi-socio-religio tour. She’s impressed to learn we were the birthplace of the More Light movement 36 years ago. She’s got one more stop before leaving town, my former intern Chris up at Broadway.

One of my homeless friends comes in. I know that it will be a long recitation of medical woes and bureaucratic road blocks and that I will be asked to examine a variety of physical  wounds, sores, swellings, etc., as if to verify the story. The problem is, most of what I’m being told is probably true. I look at him and say, You know we don’t have money, right? You know this is not a rich church, right? But I give him enough for a round trip subway fare.

A dancer comes in looking for Noche. Apparently, she’s a new addition to their cast for the performances coming up at Joe’s Pub. I walk her to the studio where a rehearsal is in full swing. Soli leading, Marina, whose talent is growing always, in support. And this time  there are puppets. From the most in demand puppeteer of the day, Basil Twist. This I’m going to have to see. While Martin is a flamencero without peer, what I love about  him is that flamenco is for him a door into a deeper world of awe, wonder and beauty.

I spend as long as I can on a cold and freezing day. I am committed to calling 9-11 if anyone is on the steps. It’s just too cold. But no one is there. And no one from the scaffolding company has shown up yet. This is a serious problem.

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