Monday, April 28, 2014

The 6th day of Easter: Good to be back


Back from Louisville.  Meeting of the national Presbyterian Mission Agency Board. Sad. So much good is still going on. My friend Shannon off to Bangkok  and the Philippines to work on child sex trafficking. My friend Mark’s work at the UN. Bill and his important…and controversial… work moving divestment forward. Creative new worshipping communities emerging all over the country.
But…once again we go through the biennial blood letting as staff are riffed, cut, due to falling membership and decreased revenue. It’s become so much an expected, predictable, normal part of our life that it’s become ritualized. Almost liturgical. It should be on our planning calendar.

The board deals with general numbers in generic categories. No sense of the people in those numbers. The anxious waiting. Friends sitting vigil with vulnerable staff at their desks. The sigh of relief or feeling of despair when announcements are made. The two o’clock staff prayer service.  And again, good faithful people, many who have given their life to the church, are let go. More often women, too near to retirement to have good job prospects but too far off  to cash in. I waiting for a voice to say, maybe this model isn’t working.
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Barbara Mood Indigo
Back just in time for Open Mic.  Even with a small turnout, the performances are still worth it. The ageless Barbara Como gives us some Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald tonight. The banjo phenom Nick Lantigua has a couple of originals and a banjo version  of a Led Zeppelin number as he continues to explore the limits of his instrument. But the night’s feature had to be Mandola Joe’s rendition of Dylan’s Desolation Row. Bringing Pat O up to join him, recalling their days as the Original Buskers.  With at least a thought that Nick could be an Original Busker, too. It’s great to have Joe back. And I’m happy to be back home..
Desolation Row as only Joe can sing it

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