Back at last!!! Let me apologize to our readers for blog silence over the last week. I was involved in the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in what proved to be a truly historic meeting. The spotlight issues included granting Presbyterian ministry the right to perform same gender marriages (in states where these are legal), a proposal to change our constitutional definition of marriage to two people instead of a man and a woman, and divestment from Caterpillar, Hewlitt-Packard and Motorola because of their profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. (More will be written about these in the coming week.) Out of the spotlight, important work was done on issues that impact urban ministry, including a review of draconian drug policy and its impact on communities if color—a proposal originated in San Francisco and co-sponsored by West-Park--, and a call for a new study of urban ministry taking account of the urbanization of the suburbs and the suburbanization of the inner city. And the election of one of our lectionary study group members, Larissa Kwong Adazia as Vice-Moderator. (The last time New York City had someone elected to national office was 1982 when my predecessor West-Park Pastor, Bob Davidson, was elected Moderator. There is much to catch up on and I will do my best over the course of the week to do so. Thanks for your patience…
(you can read my Tweets from General Assembly at @RLBRASHEAR #pcusa#Ga221)
Now back to West-Park. Saturday, June 21st, we joined the rest if the city in celebrating the solstice and Make Music New York day with a full day of music inside the church and on the steps. The day began inside with a set by Andy Craig
with electric folk and original music on his
bass and computer. Andy was followed by Bulgarian classical and new music
pianist Tania Stavreva,https://www.facebook.com/TaniaStavreva.Official )
who after explorations of Satie and new music concluded
with Bach. Our own Debra Griner and Robin Greenstein with traditional folk and
Jeremy Mage and one of his Magi, Emilio, opened up a hot set outside with keyboard, cajon and electric guitar. I joined on some vocals and then Jeremy and I did a rendition of I Know You Rider…People were literally dancing in the streets.(http://jeremymage.com/ )
|Bob and Jeremy|
Joel Gold brought his improvised spoken word outdoors and then Pat O’Connell his Americana and added Jeremy on keyboard.
|Pat O and Jeremy|
|Jeremy and Emilano|
Alia Alhan from Kazakhstan brought the show back inside for a set of traditional Kazakh music and classical.
After I left for a wedding in Chappaqua, there were sets by Friday night sound man and rocker David Smythe and Mandola Joe, banjo phenom Nick Lantigua (our Open Mic all-stars_ and our own RL Haney. Which of course, finished with Stay Awhile. It was truly a celebration of West-Park’s musical identity.
|The one and only Joel Gold|
I came back after the wedding to join Berik and Leila in a glass of wine celebrating the successful opening of their latest show, Innovation of Art. A truly beautiful day of celebration. It’s good to be back home.
For Pat's album from Make Music New York go to....