Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Talking about homeless. And Palestine. And Antigona.


The police hosted a meeting at Community Board 7 with all the local faith leaders to discuss homelessness. Of course they had the DA’s office there to tell us what kind of papers to file so that we could close our steps and arrest anyone who trespassed. Sorry. Not going there. Our friends and partners from Project Reach Out who help us find housing and who know everyone who hangs out in the neighborhood were there too. And representatives from the local politicians. We shared common concerns. Like the twin sisters on my steps. And then my friend Father Duffel asked the question When is our progressive mayor going to do something about affordable housing? Bloomberg’s 55000  record homeless are now Di Blasio’s 60,000. Things kind of went silent then.

I had to leave then to go to Advent for our Palestine group. Our last meeting with my friend Elise who said farewell to Advent last Sunday. The situation among local clergy is getting harder. A new pastor at one church is working hard to bring balance where there has been a strong advocacy group. There’s an increasing emphasis on what it means to live in this neighborhood. Meaning of course a neighborhood with a large Jewish population. Our neighbor rabbis can more easily identify with the Palestinian experience than some of our more anxious clergy colleagues. We begin to plan our fall program.  Elise will be missed.

Tonight at Antigona, I’ve got a number of friends. Like my old colleague Katherine. And our old friend Feygele. And again, they are amazed. The great reviews continue to come in.

I join Martin for a beer after. He doesn’t want to stop. Doesn’t want to take a break. Soli most wants it to continue. Each day, she’s finding Antigona more. There’s a whole host of neighborhood people who will be coming back right after Labor Day who will want to see what the event of the summer of 2015 has been. I don’t have to be convinced.


There’s a service to prepare.

Tonight Katherine and I are going to see the latest play by the Representatives who most recently ran their  Lynchian pilot project Beddy Tear at West-Park.  And tomorrow I’m off to the national Presbyterian Big Tent event in Knoxville. To do a workshop on community organizing.

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