O U T H
H U R C H
O U R I E R
O n t h e Ve r g e o f S p r i n g …
RE N E WA L & R E J U V E N AT I O N
The Hottest Pair page 9 The Happiest Girl page 3 The Finest Hospitality page 12 The Meanest Streets page 4 The Highest Jump page 10
Expect it around June 1.
The Greatest Book page 14 The Biggest Profile page 16 and a few of our youngest voices.
It’ll be close to summertime. So send us something sunny or summery, a favorite reflection of a past vacation perhaps, some delicious beach poetry that may have come to you like a breeze. Or something mundane and deep at the same time: Recreation as Re-Creation Or, since we’re a free-spirited bunch, anything goes.
Photo: Cris Kossow
You may want to check the South Church website, www.southpres.org where we’ll post past Pulses. Please remember, this little periodical will work best, if it’s a community effort. We’ll be delighted to get your input, your contributions, poems, photos from South activities, self-made reproducible artwork etc. Call or e-mail or drop things off in the Pulse slot at church and they’ll be treated lovingly.
THE HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD
by Emily Herring (16)
JUST ANOTHER STORY of an ordinary
girl who, for a moment in time, was the happiest girl in the world The moment I walked through the door, my beating heart and short breaths became a constant reminder of what I was about to do. I was cold. I didn't even have enough makeup on. My outfit was plain. I don't want to be here, I thought. They are all better than me, and I don't care. I want to be in the background because this frightens me today. I'm young and pathetic and scared and I'm NOT having fun. Then came the voice inside of my head: Oh shut up, Emily, you're just nervous. Why? Who knows. I've been on stage billions of times – why was this different? Just the label of it: competition. That frightening word. It's so threatening. Until I walked in the door – until that single moment – this night was what I had been looking forward to for a while. Why? Because my life is boring. (No, Emily, your life is not boring. Why were you really looking forward to it?) Because I love performing. I had almost forgotten, which is ridiculous. I was the last one to enter my tiny dressing room, so there was no space for any of my limited items. Big and small girls with sequin-y dresses and skin-tight
New pix to come
PULSE is slated to be issued 4 to 5 times per year. This time around we are grateful to the following contributors: Donna Thompson Anne Day Alexandra Conroy Ray Bagnuolo Emily Herring Dale Williams Dana Lichty Nancy A. Benson Joseph Gilmore John Xenakis Michael Xenakis
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Stories & Essays The Happiest Girl 3 Oh Dear, What Could The Matter Be (The Midnight Run at 20) 4 Reflections on Shoes 9 New Again 10 Radical Hospitality 12 An Invitation Attached To a Memoir 14 Food For Thought Poetics Glances Time Flies Beat Reporters At Large: Theater Sunday Profile: John and Michael Xenakis Perspectives Feedback Sharing Corner Something Puzzling
Again, special thanks to Susan De George for her help in securing needed support, to Lydia Aretakis of the church office and to all Perspectives responders. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of South Presbyterian Church. Graphic design: Cris Kossow Sharing Corner: Shavonne Conroy Editor of this issue: Harry Vetter e-mail email@example.com ph 201-476-1817, Fax 201-307-1470 Church address: South Presbyterian Church 343 Broadway Dobbs Ferry, New York 10522
6 31 21 8 16 24 31 20
pants had all of their monstrous beauty kits that overflowed with little red and brown lipsticks, eye-shadows for every color of the rainbow, and more hairpins than I could count in a year, sprawled across the length of the room. So I made a little square for my water bottle and mini-makeup bag. I thought they would all be mean – how judgmental of me. But when this beautiful blonde-haired, cat-eyed, bright-smiled girl made sure that I had enough space for my little items, I realized – of course they aren't all mean. And later I realized that they were all so nice. Intimidating because of their probably amazing talent, but very nice. I mean, they had sparkly dresses and their faces were coated with makeup – so of course they were really talented, right? And they were so outgoing; almost to a point of shock. All these theater people, eek! I'm not that outgoing, so I must not be a real theater person. Oh well. What happened between my entrance to the room and my performance was a blur of competitive vocal warm ups (“I can hit that note, can you?” “Oh, that note? That's low for ME – can you belt this note?” etc.) and
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“OH, DEAR, WHAT CAN THE MATTER BE?”
The Midnight Run In Its Twentieth Year
by Joe Gilmore
The series of articles about Midnight Run continues in this edition of PULSE, with a conversation about the Run between Joe Gilmore and Dale Williams. Dale is known on the streets as a thoughtful, tough, and fair man who has lived The Life, who has never lost his deep connection to those living in the shadows, and whose sense for justice is carried in his bones.
JG: How long have you served as Midnight Run's, Executive Director? DW: I started working for Midnight Run in 1990, and became ED in 1991. JG: When you first began to work for Midnight Run, you were still living on the streets yourself, were you not? It must have been an enormous and complicated shift from life as a person homeless and poor, to the chief organizing and operating officer of a growing justice effort. Would you be willing to say a little about that shift in your life, how it felt, what it implied? DW: I had met Midnight Run as a homeless person, and eventually became a volunteer street board member in 1989. In 1990 I started working 2 days a week for MR as a clothing sorter. That job, combined with 2 other part-time jobs, enabled me to get a place. Then
time you must have found the Run in a state something like this: a group of synagogues, churches and schools, bound by a shared commitment to the homeless poor, but chaotically structured, episodically administered, and almost never organized. Under your leadership the commitment to the homeless poor has deepened, an administrative structure has been built which works exceptionallywell, and a funding base has been established which takes seriously the continuing need for the presence of Midnight Run. What growth have you seen? What vision has prompted your skillful and thoughtful leadership, what issues remain to be addressed by the Run? DW: Well, as far as growth, we’ve gone from trying to be sure there was a group out three times a week (Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday) to averaging fifteen to twenty groups per week. We’ve gone from a cash budget of $9,000 a year to $200,000. But in a real sense nothing has changed – Midnight Run is still just people trying to share a little of our affluence. It’s a little hard to state a particular vision. I will say that there used to be an (unintentional) unfairness when there was no effective full-time leader at the time when I was on the street. Sometimes one stop was visited three times in a week, another not visited at all. This has spurred me towards a real commitment to making Midnight Run as fair as possible. The experience of dealing with (non-Midnight Run) groups that would give you a blanket only if you prayed with them solidified
my belief that Midnight Run must be completely ecumenical and free of evangelism. I’m still shaped by my experiences on the streets – and the day I am not, I should resign. As far as issues that need to be addressed, I think the bigger issues are the ones that need to be addressed by society at large – why is it that someone can work full-time for minimum wage and not be able to afford an apartment? But of course Midnight Run constantly
the full-time administrator left, and I was offered a full-time job at MR. Now, any change is scary, but this was also quite exhilarating. I had an opportunity to give back, and a chance to make a difference. In the space of acouple of years I went from spending my days wondering how to survive, to concentrating on how to see to it that Midnight Run did all it could do to help others. JG: Not long before you assumed your present position, the Run had begun to be serious about organizing for the long haul. Through the generosity and passion of Bart Tyler and the GCS Corporation, the office at 97 Main Street and a large, specialized van were made available. A constitution and bylaws were being written and the intention was to include on the board of directors the homeless poor themselves. At the
I’m still shaped by my experiences on the streets – and the day I am not, I should resign.
has to address new (and old) issues. Recently, we’ve tried to address the ageold question of wondering “what happened to the homeless guy who slept in that doorway – is he sick, dead, arrested, did he just move to a new spot, or maybe he got a place to live or into a program?” So we are issuing emergency contact cards to our homeless friends, so if they are injured or worse we can be contacted (and then contact their friends or family if they wish). JG: Over the years, how would you describe the attitudes of the various city neighborhoods to the presence of the Midnight Run? Do you think of any particular stories which would illustrate those attitudes?
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
by Mary Oliver Somewhere a black bear has just risen from sleep and is staring down the mountain. All night in the brisk and shallow restlessness of early spring I think of her, her four black fists flicking the gravel, her tongue like a red fire touching the grass, the cold water. There is only one question: how to love this world. I think of her rising like a black and leafy ledge to sharpen her claws against the silence of the trees. Whatever else
R E N E WA L
Spring is come home with her world-wandering feet, And all things are made young with young desires. Francis Thompson, “From the Night of Forebeing”
my life is with its poems and its music and its glass cities, it is also this dazzling darkness coming down the mountain, breathing and tasting; all day I think of her – her white teeth, her wordlessness, her perfect love.
… Think of it, laughing God: if we are not careful, looking at a full moon, we think, “Been there.” We forget that the life of our sun had a beginning has a middle, will have an end. Just like ours.
And so it is that standing near to the solemn season of Lent, at the edge of darkness, we join thee in laughing – at our immodesty, our distractedness, our pretension, and our misplaced solemnity. We are on our way to human, yes, but we are slow, slow to arrive. … Excerpted from a Mardi Gras unison prayer by Joe Gilmore of last year.
In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Alfred, Lord Tennyson A hush is over everything – Silent as women wait for love, The world is waiting for the spring. Sara Teasdale
PULSE BEAT REPORTERS
Special Theater Sunday at South
ANNE AND I are gathered here around the hearth of my computer to remember the process of putting together the November 2 service entitled Surrender. This service was one in a series of what has come to be called a “Special Theater Sunday” at South. Over the years we’ve focused on topics such as Work, Aging and Death & Dying by calling on the congregation to share their stories around these themes. The Surrender service was inspired by the writing of Jerry Wennstrom. Jerry is a contemporary artist, who back in 1979 gave away all of his possessions and destroyed all his art work to begin a new life. Anne and I were captivated by his writings about the journey of surrendering to the Divine and his own creativity, with all of its synchronistic and at times down-right magical happenings along the way. We began to wonder, “What similar stories must there be here at South Church, long time friend and sanctuary to many creative people of this community?” From the very beginning, over a casual conversation about the book, Susan DeGeorge encouraged and supported the idea that it could evolve into a theater service. As Anne and I began the design and staging process we were joined by Ed Zupko. Back in September, we presented the congregation with three themes, each with a quote and a question. We invited everyone to search their memories for stories on the themes of Creativity, Synchronicity and Surrender. A few
D O N N A T H O M P S O N & A N N E D AY
REFLECTIONS ON SHOES
By Dana Lichty hen I was 16, I bought my first pair of truly remarkable shoes. They were a deep elegant pink and iridescent, a seductive lipstick for the feet. I paid for them with babysitting money and they cost about $15.00 – which was an outrageous sum for 1961. The pink shoes had three-inch heels. In those days, I could dance in those heels. In fact, I wore them to the prom that year, with a spaghetti-strap pink and white gingham dress my mother made with a skirt that consisted of three big flounces, ending just below my knees. Looking in my closet the other other day, I found no iridescent pink high-heeled shoes.
people responded but not really enough to create an entire worship service. So, we moved to Plan B. We condensed our three themes into one question and slipped into your homes via e-mail and asked you to take just a minute and answer with a line or two. Then the responses began to pour in! Most of you wrote about Surrender and so that emerged as the focus with Synchronicity and Creativity becoming sub-themes. At one point along the way a mysterious fourth theme arose from somewhere and people began calling it “The Healing Service”. This really confused everyone, especially our music staff, who was trying to choose the music. But truth be told, where there is deep surrender, there is often healing. Before surrender, comes listening. A quote from The Inspired Heart: “What is the whispering message of divine law trying to tell us? Once we arrive at the answer to this question within ourselves, we can direct the journey of our world toward a beautiful, collective reality. The gods do, indeed, whisper before they scream. The only
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The highest heels I could find in the closet were my dusty wedding shoes.
There were three pairs of unremarkable black sneakers, only two of which I ever wear. A pair of white running shoes that I put on once was hidden in the back of the closet. I can’t run since the hip replacement and I hate even looking at them. The highest heels I could find in the closet were my dusty wedding shoes. Actually my second wedding shoes: white fabric with a lace overlay and beading. Pretty foxy shoes! But that was
only five years ago and they came with a one-inch heel and strap. I thought it better if the bride didn’t fall down on the dance floor. Mostly I wear a pair of very inelegant utilitarian black walking shoes. Or I rely on my “going-to-meeting” black suede lace-up oxfords that look like the battered leather ones made by Dr. Scholl. Grandma Nellie wore those. I bought the suede pair a few years ago in a dimly lit shop with orthopedic shoes cluttering the window. The store was on the way to Lord & Taylor and I was at the bitter end of a desperate search to find some shoes that really fit. It seemed like an end-of-the-line store for someone whose feet hurt all the time. The salesman was patient, muttered some comments about my thin, bony
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SEVERAL YEARS AGO – long after my Sturm und Drang time of self-discovery, long before a serious nag of midlife crisis could reasonably be expected – I needed change badly. Some sprucing up perhaps was what it took, some spice, some daring sense of adventure, some can-do accomplishment with failure not on the list of options, and I’d be good as new again. So I figured parachuting to be a nice-enough diversion. But the idea of tandem-jumping, of being strapped to an instructor or jumpmaster, didn’t appeal to me, since that was too similar to just being a passenger, which I was often enough on regular airplanes. Hence I went to a one-day static-line course at Spaceland Airport near Houston, where I lived, and there they briefed about ten students and me in the art of hopping out of little sports planes, even when they were not on fire. At the end of the day, when we were to take our virgin jumps, it was too windy, so I went back a few days later on a pleasant, sunny day and was readied to board a Cessna 182. The NASA Mission Control Center down in the distance looked serene, as the little plane climbed to three thousand feet. Soon comes the time to open the door, climb on the step of the plane, while the static line is affixed to the floor, and then I climb out under the
and the bruise on my face, but I can’t wipe off the grin. I never saw the other students again. “They’re probably never gonna take the plunge,” said Linda, “That’s how it goes.”
But Momma, that’s where the fun is.
strut of the wing, hold on with my hands and let the feet dangle horizontally in the near-hurricane wind conditions, about three feet out under the wing, while my back is to form a natural arch. I strain to breathe and look at Linda, the jump-mistress inside the Cessna. Once she is happy with my dangling and my feet are floating calmly, she counts down from 3 to 1, and I let go. I right away go into fetal position and smack my right knee into my nose and jaw, but that I don’t register. The beautiful round canopy has opened up above me, I see the 182 staying its course higher up, I can’t hear the ground crew so clearly in the headphones under my helmet, but that’s okay. I’m sailing in the sky. I’m pulling down the toggles and navigate, pulling left and describing a gentle left circle, then doing a quicker, jerkier right turn, shouting an enormous Texas-sized “Yeee-haw” and, eventually, close to the ground, I turn into the wind for a decent military landing, still on the airport premises. I have this huge grin on my face, as I my hands collect the trusty fabric and I proceed to the hangar. People point at my bloody nose I became quite taken by the new sport, bought a used square canopy – “Good as new, never even opened up.” (skydiver humor) – learned to fold and pack the thing, which is quite an accomplishment for someone like me who’s not the neatest by nature. I graduated to higher jump levels and longer and longer times of freefall. I took my gear along to other drop zones in California, Florida, and when I moved back East. While I was never good at flying in formations, I got a tremendous boost of seeing different landscapes from a bird’s eye perspective. The preparation for each dive, I found it to be an awesome lesson in discipline, and it cleared my head of virtually all other things that can bug life as we know it. Nothing much can interfere with the calm singular focus when you sit with a bunch of other parachutists on the floor of a jump plane, the biggest holding as many as forty.
As you stare down from a gaping hole in the rear of a Caribou or out the side door of a twin-engine Otter or a DC3 from fourteen thousand feet, and you say a big little prayer for your chute to open, when the time comes – life as you knew it has changed. Where else does your well-being literally depend on the quality of certain strings attached? And then you jump out, head first, laughing, as you catch your breath, going down – flying as it seems – at 120 miles per hour. Perhaps you pull off a few mad freestyle loops and barrel rolls. You know that the next minute or so will be the most exhilarating, and then you’ve gotta do your shtick to get the rainbow colored square canopy to inflate. If you’re lucky, like I was a couple of times, you dive right through a puffy cloud at about seven thousand or so. That’s terribly illegal, but Momma, that’s where the fun is. And dancing down from two, three thousand feet under a fluttering Pegasus parachute – it doesn’t get much better than that. Those freefalling days are long gone. I’ve settled down, got married, would now consider my jumpiness of old too stressful, but my thoughts often go back to those adventurous days that widened my horizon and rejuvenated me when I really needed it.
PULSE + GUTS + HEART:
by Ray Bagnuolo This is from a recent essay by Ray Bagnuolo who in a series of writings has tried to provoke a response to the slow, painful process of the “inclusivity movement”. Ray knows exactly the audience he is addressing.
MY WRITING IS not an attempt to
change the minds of those who stand against full inclusion for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgendered) persons in this church. Instead, I write for those who welcomed and encouraged me, and others like me. People who have made it clear that they stand firmly in the belief that God created us all in God’s image, people who see exclusion as an act of spiritual defiance and eternal injustice; they are courageous in their work to overturn bias, bigotry, hatred, and the violence that strikes LGBT persons daily. My audience believes in the teachings of Jesus. Radical hospitality beats in their hearts. They would never, ever turn away a soul. In fact, they don’t know how to even consider doing such a thing! They struggle, along with everyone else, in trying to integrate their humanity into the great mystery and call of God. They are my friends and loved ones, and they cringe in the knowledge that their church – their church – rejects those whom they have been called to love and who they have, indeed, welcomed into their hearts and spiritual lives.
The group reading this knows of the violence that institutions are capable of incurring through slowly turning wheels of polity. They have witnessed lives and families ground up in those gears. They know that with each crushing turn the beast of hatred is fed, its appetite becomes an ever-spreading sickness that devours many we have called our own and others we will never have the chance to welcome. Yet, for some reason, we seem unable to completely break loose from our constitutional and personal bounds to stop the bleeding of those we dearly love. We seem helpless as the sickness spreads far beyond our PC(USA) and its 2.5 million members. The violence we feed by the idea that we are powerless for change until conditions are just right – is where I begin to lose my equilibrium within our community and its supporters. I have found no scripture, no argument, no plea that can justify the mounting violence we accept as some pre-ordained requirement for progress. Knowing that our church has institutional guidelines that feed the degradation of those we support seems as though it should be
enough for this audience to rise up en masse. And the repercussions of our inaction are horrific. Consider two effects: suicide and hate crimes. In 2000, the U.S. Department of Health reported that over three million youth seriously considered suicide in the United States. One million of those young people made an attempt at taking their own lives. Each day, 2700 people between the ages of 12-17 attempt suicide. Each week, one hundred young people between the ages of 15 – 24 will succeed in taking their own lives. In the United States, suicide ranks as the third leading cause of death for ages 15 – 24 and the fourth leading cause of death for ages 10 – 14. Since 30 percent of all attempts and deaths are estimated to be related to sexual identity issues, I cannot be convinced that none of these lives could have been saved if the individuals and their families had been aware of a denomination that stood up mightily in favor of their God-given right to be who they are: loved, whole, and welcomed in the eyes of God and our community. The idea that we can wait years more to be outraged and galvanized in removing G-6.0106b is a break in sensibilities. How much more violence do we need? Hate crimes. In 2001, the latest FBI report shows that as overall serious crime has continued to decrease, hate crimes have continued to increase
(2.3% from 1999-2000). “A separate Justice Department report released in October of 2001 confirms that hate crimes are underreported; that a disproportionately high percentage of both victims and perpetuators of hate violence are young people under the age of 25; and that only 20 percent of reported hate crimes result in arrest.” These are real people with real stories. Follow the link to read over 651 separate accounts of such tragedies, including 181 murders, at the HRC website. It just doesn’t make sense that as a church, following the teachings of Jesus, doing our best to be compassionate and radical in our welcoming of those who are the least favored among us – that we refuse to see ourselves in light of this cancerous combination of hatred, violence, and dismissal. As my audience, you know what I mean. The math of the human tragedy of exclusion is incalculable. Review the statistics above and multiply them by the months and years that we have struggled for justice. Add to the total the years until the completion on the task force’s report and the uncertainty of the time that will follow its presentation. Multiply the grief further by the number of families and friends stricken by the impact of loved ones whose lives became targets. I absolutely believe that if all the organizations and supporters of full inclusion for LGBT persons in our
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LIFE AT SOUTH:
by Nancy A. Benson
A D U LT E D U C AT I O N
AN INVITATION ATTACHED TO A MEMOIR
AS I LOOK FORWARD to the
Adult Education series slated for March, it seems appropriate to introduce myself and what the series is about. I’ve been a member for 20 years at South Church where I’ve been privileged to do this sort of thing before, but it’s been a while. I’m calling these sessions “Biblical Texts Through a Literary Lens.” My involvement with the Bible has been long and varied, beginning in early childhood when my preacher/lawyer father encouraged my memorizing long passages of Scripture for recitation. (I say “encouraged” but actually I didn’t think I had a choice.) They included Psalm 23 of course, Psalm 1, John 14:114, Matthew 25: 31-46 among others, and visitors to our home were often subjected to my “performances”. These passages stayed with me for a very long time but please don’t ask me to recite them now! Then once, at the age of about 5, when visiting some of my mother’s relatives, I went to Sunday School at the country church where my great-grandfather had been a longtime elder, and they gave me a Bible to take home. Imagine my shock and frustration when, in doing so, I was accused of taking it without permission (stealing the Bible!) It was my first experience of injustice. As I was growing up, weekly Sunday schools, summer Bible schools and other church-related activities filled a significant part of my life. So when it came to fulfilling some of the requirements in the southern Presbyterian college where my mother (herself an English major as I was destined to be) had graduated, I could feel pretty smug about not having to study very hard in the Bible courses,
at least. My life seemed to be following a predictable pattern, but it was about to change! A Georgia Tech student from Baltimore named Bill, two years older than I, was responsible. As soon as he graduated, at the end of my sophomore year, we were married, left my hometown of Atlanta to set up housekeeping in Baltimore, and I transferred to Goucher College, still as an English major. It was there that my dialogue with the Bible took a new turn. Again I chose an elective I thought I could feel confident about, a religion course, but this time it was another story. Dr. Mary Andrews, trained in higher biblical criticism at the University of Chicago, gave me a joltingly different perspective. It was such a jolt that it took a few years of course work, study groups and research on my own to sort things out and eventually be very grateful for all that I had gained from both “fundamentalist” and “liberal” approaches to the Bible. There were of course to be other changes though some things also remained the same. Our four daughters came along, with all the joys and trials a growing family brings. A strength I must acknowledge: long before it was considered a “guy thing,” Bill was a nurturer, and he still is! I hoped to continue to study somehow, preferably with other people, since I am an extrovert. And a strange notion had taken root that maybe I could someday become a professor of literature. I took a couple of
evening courses at Johns Hopkins, but their graduate program in English, like most others at the time, was not really interested in housewives. Then a relocation became necessary: Bill was transferred to New York, a prospect that was both exciting and scary. As we settled into Westchester, it became clear that in terms of education, the metro area offered virtually limitless horizons, and its institutions were in the vanguard of change. After all the girls were in school, and with the support of everyone in the family, I was fortunate to study first at Sarah Lawrence in a Master’s program in preparation for college teaching, and then in a doctoral program at the Graduate Center of CUNY. Along the way, I began teaching at Mercy College. The greatest thing about the study of literature for me is that it provides insights into everything having to do with the adventure of becoming fully human. I have long been fascinated by poetic and narrative techniques that writers have used throughout the ages, from biblical times to the present, to connect with human minds and souls. But it’s not all about books. Academic learning for me has deepened over the years as my students, from a rich diversity of backgrounds, have added immeasurably to my understanding of a much wider world than I would ever have known otherwise. They have helped prove to me the relevance of the concurrently developing emphases on the
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We don’t mean to pry, just to personalize our lives a bit. Please answer only what feels right. Be as detailed or brief as you wish. Who: John Xenakis Where do you live? I moved from Dobbs Ferry over the summer to a coop in Yonkers, just north of the Hudson River Museum How long have you been coming to our church? Almost 20 years now. What about your own “church” history? I was raised within the Greek Orthodox church (Transfiguration of Christ in Corona, Queens). The church served as a religious, social and cultural center for Greek Americans and their children. Under church sponsorship, I attended after-school instruction from grammar school through junior high and learned to read and write the language. As many people do, I stopped attending regularly in my teens. I still remember my first Sunday at SPC during the summer of 1984. Bruce Mitchell and Mary Allison greeted us in such a warm and gentle way. My family and I made SPC part of our own tradition. There have been large shifts in my family the last few years; and I can see that it’s not so far off when even my youngest will not be around for an Advent Party or Christmas Pageant. What is your first memory of church? Standing in front of lots of people singing “Away in a Manger” in the Christmas Pageant. Who: Michael Xenakis Location: Hastings-on-Hudson, NY
JOHN: What’s your job? In my current life, I work for a law firm in Irvington as an operations manager. I’ve been a restaurant manager, radio disk jockey, nuclear power plant technician, chemical plant manager, systems project manager, science and math teacher, professional soccer referee . Is there a recent book you can recommend? I just started reading a book by Jonathan Lethem called “Motherless Brooklyn.” The prose is wonderfully clever and quick and agile. It’s a detective story about a street gang member who has Tourette’s Syndrome – Oliver Sachs meets The Dead End Kids meet Goodfellas. Any favorite movie or play or both? Most recently, I enjoyed “Lost in Translation.” It is such an intelligent and well-done movie. Two of my favorite plays (of the last 20 years) are by Brian Friel - “Dancing at Lughnasa” and “Molly Sweeney.” Brian Friel’s dialogues and speeches are so rich and musical and intoxicating. What’s your favorite music, and is there music you care for that absolutely drives your sons nuts? I just adore good jazz vocalists and arrangements. But I enjoy all genres of music, excepting rap music, which my sons kindly shield from my ears. I once played Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” album when I had my sons in automobile captivity. The boys were laughing uproariously and making fun of the lyrics (and of me).
MICHAEL: What would you like to do when I grow up? I would like to have some involvement in mathematics.
How long you have been coming to church? About 14 years (since 1990)
What is your most favorite book? Why? “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair. This book is a fabulous book and really tells about immigrants’ stress and struggle in the beginning of the 20th century.
What are your most favorite movies and T.V. shows? I have two most favorite movies and T.V. shows. My two favorite movies are Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison both starring Adam Sandler. My two most favorite T.V. shows are South Park and Family Guy two comical shows that will have you rolling on the ground laughing. What is your most favorite music and does it drive your father nuts? I really like to listen to all kinds of rock. None of the songs I listen to drive my dad insane.
JOHN: What are you passionate about? Traveling and food and photography, and combining all three. Name a blessing in your life. My children – three awesome characters in a life I’m living.
MICHAEL: What is the most fun thing you like to do? I really like to hang out with friends and play all kinds of sports (except for track). Name a blessing in your life. A blessing is that I have a loving parents, siblings and friends. Also that my family can afford such things as a house, knowing that everyone isn’t as lucky as me. What can drive you crazy? Despite how I love my parents and they love me, they drive me C R A Z Y! What do you like to do that you most likely shouldn’t? I go on my computer too often! Is there something that no one expects about you? Yes, that it would be really cool if my name was Alex. (Alex is my brother’s name).
JOHN: Do you have a motto? “No good deed goes unpunished” (but that doesn’t mean we should stop doing good deeds). Complete the sentence: I wish I were -in PARIS!
MICHAEL: Do you have a motto? No.
Fill in the rest of the sentence, “I wish I could-Despite how this might be a bit unfair and give me too much power, I wish I could have the power to do anything I wanted.
What gets your dander up? Self-righteous bigots. Any guilty pleasures? Manicures. Is there something no one expects about you? In 1989, I stopped smoking cigarettes, trained for 8 months to run the New York City Marathon, and lit up again the very next day after the race. What’s your preferred charity and why? CLUSTER, a social services organization based in Yonkers and helping throughout Westchester. Because it’s my community. What was once important to you but now isn’t? Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention – consciousness-raising on a number of levels in my former “fringe-hippie” life.
What’s your sign? Sun in Sagitarrius; Moon in Aries; Cancer Ascendant. It can get really complicated sometimes. What can refuel you when you’re running on empty? A hot tub soak under the stars at night. Is there a special moment for you at church that stands out?
What’s your sign? Pisces.
What heers you up when you are down? My brother, Family Guy or South Park usually give me a laugh that will get me back on track. Is there a special moment in church that stands out for you? Despite how I shouldn’t be answering this question like this, I like hanging out with my friends after either “Film-X” or Joe’s provocation.
Have you done something nice for someone and felt good about it? Yes, there are a number of accounts of this sort of action – too many to go through. Is there something that used to be really important to you but now isn’t? Yes, my parents. I used to rely on my parents for everything. Now they aren’t as important because I make lots of my own decisions and my parents just give me guidelines in which to follow. (Yet they are still very important)
That one Christmas Pageant when the substitute organist canceled ill literally two hours before the start, and we were faced with warming up a weakened piano. After getting a read on a location, I ran up and down the aisles of the Grand Union supermarket and, in the dairy section, indentured a neighbor of mine who knew how to play the musical beast. Yes! Another Christmas miracle!
continued on page 30 18 19
ACROSS 1. reflexive pronoun 7. donkey 9. variation of Eve 10. nil 12. after Mardi Gras 13. Jesus/disciple last meal 15. Western landscape 16. snakelike fish 19. folklore being 20. holy land 23. intense 24. Egyptian sun god 25. French masculine name 26. life – lasting 29. U2 collaborator 30. Clinton agonized over it 34. Louise of South Church 37. first man 39. to remain/stand fast 40. to bend 41. hole in ground 43. states NY, NJ, CT 44. an insect’s feeler 46. one topic of this Pulse 47. complain 49. infamous Roman emperor 51. Brit license plate 52. Senior 53. noun, denominator: Sunday, pilot
5 6 6 11 13 14 7 8
1 9 12
WHAT TIMES ARE THESE. What will we remember of the time we live in?
What news, if any, will hold up? The insatiable cable news networks want to make us believe that every day there’s something monumentally newsworthy that occurs, something of historic proportions, such as the oddly inane celebrity tribulations (Stewart, Bryant, Jackson, Blake, Petersen). There is a word, Momentaufnahme, which means snapshot of the moment. Snapshot December through February, oh three /oh four, By H. Christopher Vetter
1 16 20 24 26 1 33 37 40 43 46 47 48 49 52
27. upsetting 28. cell phone lingo 31. flies’ worst nightmare 32. sporting venues 33. practiced during Lent 35. abbr. Alberta 36. Paradise 38. patriotic women’s group 41. often crucial in chess 42. not outer 45. employee stock plan 48. abbr.: at bat 50. Gore 20
15 1 22 19 23 1
21 25 27 29 34 38 41 44 28 1
When, at last, in December, Iraq’s dictator is found, disheveled and disoriented, in a hole in the ground, he is not quite a sight to inspire new fear. No sign of weapons of mass destruction anywhere near, which had been the reason for going to war. Is it, now, nation-building what GI’s are dying for? The holidays here are under the usual alert, but people scratch their heads and move on, unperturbed. Code Orange, ricin scare, one mad, mad cow – oh shucks. At this rate it’ll be best if everyone ducks. More highlights and lowlights of the months that just passed: – some may leave you chuckling, some shivering, some aghast – Segregationist Thurman gets unmasked as a hypocrite and fake… 30,000 in Iran succumb in a quake… Libya’s Ghadafi, oh surprise, starts acting nice… Turning arctic, our Hudson is covered with ice… Hotbed Haiti: a poor people in another uprising… Christ’s “Passion”: The marketing and the merchandising… That ‘wardrobe malfunction’ we could have done without and the ensuing brouhaha after the Super Bowl bout. In the nation red ink is back, and grand visions run low. The President wants NASA’s manned missions to go all the way to Mars. The Martian populace patiently waits. On earth Washington wants marriage counseling for straights and for other couplings (un-)constitutional debates. How badly do Dems want the White House? Very. After Dean’s ‘I have a scream’, they home in on Kerry.
31 35 36
DOWN 51 1. some churches instill fear abt. this 2. 50’s actor, Burl 3. baby Jesus’ crib 4. toll pass 5. not more 6. healthy food group 8. silver standard 11. to perform surgery 14. sermons at South Church 17. abbr. each 18. lower extremity 21. verb, denominator: money, souls 22. Mass language
If you reach an impasse, please turn to page 30 for answers. As an IDEA for one of the next things PUZZLING, please e-mail or drop off in the Pulse mail slot at the church office: A funny or hard-to-recognize photo of you, and we will use half a dozen or so of such pictures as clues for a new puzzle. All in good taste – for sure. All original photos will be returned. Contributions for a new puzzle of any kind centering around SC are always welcome.
“OH, DEAR, WHAT CAN THE MATTER BE?” DW: Well, certainly we’ve seen our share of hostility from some neighborhoods – the line “If you didn’t feed these people, they wouldn’t be in our neighborhood”. This has included neighborhood boards, houses of worship, and individuals. But there have also been plenty of people who have passed us while walking their dogs, who’ve asked how they could donate clothing, or handed a volunteer $20 to help with gas. JG : The police are often vilified as enemies of the homelesspoor. What does your experience lead you to believe about this notion? DW: Again, there’s no absolute response. When I was homeless, there were policemen who would roust the sleeping homeless by smashing their clubs on the bottom of their feet. But
(continued from page 5)
Midnight Run, I’ve seen police roust the homeless, or arrest them for sleeping on the sidewalk. But I’ve also had police cars pull up and tell Run vans, “There’s a couple of guys on 52nd who could really use some blankets.” JG: What forces at work on the streets make your job difficult?; which make it easier? DW: Well, the political imperative to “make the homeless go away” (read: we don’t want to see them) has of course always made things hard. Certainly, the fact that portions of the population we see have mental illness, or substance abuse problems (though I think there’s less of that that when I was homeless, in the heart of the crack epidemic) causes some stresses – though it should be noted that those stereotypes certainly do not hold true for all the homeless. But to me the things that matter are the things that make my job easier: The volunteers, who give of their hearts, time, and money. The homeless, who for the most part react to hardship with good cheer, and whose willingness to share amongst each other is so generous (it’s easy to be generous when you have a lot, sharing when you have nothing is another thing). JG: What has to happen from your desk to see to it that a particular team is ready to go out on a particular night? DW: To me, the most important thing I do is the stop lists. The places people stay on the streets change constantly, and it’s a constant concern that the stop lists we give to groups be up-to-date
and fair. Anyone who’s done a Run knows that at the first stop you have virtually everything people need, but by the last stop you might be down to food, socks, and shirts. So changing the order of stops so that everyone on the
Once you’ve had a knife pulled on you, it’s difficult to believe, “This shelter is safe.”
streets gets a fair share is important. We also work with groups to supplement their supplies of clothing, blankets, and toiletries. Of course, I also coordinate use of Run vehicles (we have three, but there are often five or six groups out on weekend nights). JG: In a week, how many times is Midnight Run on the streets and ready? DW: Things are a little slower in summer, but during the school year we typically have 15 or more Midnight Run teams out in a week. In addition, we tend to have 2 or 3 breakfast Runs most Sundays and a special order Run (delivering things like suits for interviews, or 54” pants) every Wednesday. JG: In the past, the “Inspector General” for the shelter system in the city has found shelters unsafe and dangerous. Is there any reason to think that things are different, that is better, than they were, say, under the administration of Mayor Ed Koch?
DW: For a variety of reasons (the ebbing of the crack epidemic, more privately-run shelters, etc.), I think the shelters are better than they were 12-15 years ago. But that doesn’t mean they are as safe as they could be. More importantly, the perception on the streets is still of the shelters as dangerous places. Once you’ve had a knife pulled on you, it’s difficult to believe it when someone says, “Oh, but this shelter is safe.” JG: Do you currently see any reason to hope for a time when Midnight Run will have become unnecessary? DW: There’s always hope, but I can’t foresee it in the near future. JG: When you are not working at Midnight Run matters, what things bring you pleasure? DW: Well, mostly being with family (I have a lovely wife, Betsy, and a good stepson, David) and friends. Betsy and I are “foodies”, plus I have a semi-obsessive wine hobby. Then of course there’s Lucy the basset hound…
I’ve had police cars pull up and tell Run vans, “Some guys on 52nd could use some blankets.”
there were other police who would bring by paperbacks for a couple of guys who liked to read, or who would come into a subway station and say, “My sergeant told me to move you along, but I’m not throwing you out into the cold - that’s not why I became a cop - so if a supervisor comes by, tell him I threw you out and you came back as soon as I left.” Since I’ve been working at
The question we asked in early January was:
It’s a brand-new year. What is it that you really hope for?
We were hoping for responses personal, political or philosophical in nature. And, lucky us, we got all of the above.
I'm hoping for 48-hour days. At least one a week. Happy children. A faster 10k. Gentleness in myself, and in the world. Fewer occasions where I find myself wishing I said something else. Or said something. Kris Kliemann This frightening fad of a belief concept in some corners of the world and in some hearts – that after you blow yourself up in a suicide mission, you’ll wind up in heaven – I’d like this fad to die down inexplicably fast. Harry Vetter Everybody duck. Joseph H. Gilmore
national obsession. Finally, I'd like a global campaign to leave no child behind, but one powered by love and not academic hogwash. Dana Lichty My hopes for this year are the same as always: that I can learn to be a wiser, more compassionate, more generous person; that my family and those I love will flourish, and that everyone on earth will do everything he or she can to bring peace and safety to this lovely, precious and fragile planet. Melissa Bedolis Personally, I hope to continue to find the happiness and inner peace that I have recently discovered, along with my inner strength, after a most painful year (the breakup of a very long marriage). I hope to continue to have fun connecting to people, both old friends and new, including the good times I'm having with my children, and that I continue to enjoy working with others. Professionally, I hope I get my theatre company really running, now that it is officially a not-for-profit corporation. For the planet, I hope that there will be an end to terrorism, a growing respect for preserving the environment, and a growing realization among people that we are all one and should treat each other with love.
I hope that yoga will be required in every school in every grade. I wish that Luddites would gain in favor. I pray that there will be different leadership in Washington and a change of heart in our own General Assembly. I'd like to see mandatory breaks during the workday in which everyone must take five minutes out of every hour to breathe deeply. I hope for more dancing and less bureaucracy. I hope for a national movement that will demand more kindness and civility in routine everyday activities. I pray for poetry to become a
I also hope that this year I will bring some of my theatre arts to South Church, now that my personal life is stabilizing. Laurie Calahan Without sounding too Rockwellian, I hope for: …Warmth (it's zero outside tonight as I write this). …Love. …Enough dissonance to make the subsequent consonances meaningful and not just trite. …Patience. …More patience. Wait! …The History Channel actually presenting programs that indeed have something to do with History. …The same for Arts & Entertainment - since you asked. …A heart generous enough to easily forgive - and perhaps also a heart that doesn't get so damn ticked off in the first place - when I could be reaching out with open arms instead. …Forgiveness in kind. …Houston, Pettitte & Clemens to beat the pinstripes off the Yankees in 7 in October. It'll be great drama. (…and I'm from the Bronx). …A self-determined Iraqi Government that gets to actually govern Iraq - and us getting the hell out of there. …we as a people remembering to “…study war no more”. But - keep those old John Wayne movies comin' to remind us of how far we've come. There's more - but it's time to sleep perhaps I'll get to them next year. Douglas Epstein
In 2004 I hope to find a house for my family. I also hope to do a much better job of taking care of myself and my dreams while mothering the world. Shavonne Conroy I hope to find a way to repair the roof of the church. Basil Conroy I do wish us all more good adventures, more moments of astonishment and more ways for us to help conquer poverty, illness, hatred, envy etc. etc. and replace with love, awareness, energy, etc. etc. Lee Elmore I hope for greater empathy... may it spread like a blessed virus among our congregation, our villages, and our nation. I think Jesus said “love your enemy.” Perhaps we should start with empathy. We Americans are good at lashing out, being proud, standing tall. May we get much better at the gentle task of understanding others, while accepting and acknowledging failure within ourselves. I pray for this: for myself, my family, and everyone! Richard Davies Here’s our new question: “If you received as a precious gift a six-month sabbatical, without your usual work obligations, what would you do with that time?” As usual, we’re looking for capsule replies, even one-liners are OK. We’d love to feature about a dozen-or-so replies. E-mail them, fax them, voice mail them to: firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 201-307-1470, voice 201 476-1817.
SPECIAL THEATER, continued from page 8
SHOES, continued from page 9
real power we have to eliminate useless suffering in our world is to remain attentive, as in prayer, to the whispers instructing our choices. The challenge for all of us in the West is to hear the quiet instructions first, and then to maintain that listening in a screaming, material world. Deep listening is a fearless, creative response worth cultivating above all else.” The congregation’s responses to the question, “If you could be free of all burdens and obligations so that you could at last surrender to a passion or long-held yearning, what would you do?” were varied. However, there were some common themes. Many dreamed of becoming an international ambassador and spreading the word of global compassion. Some dreamed of having more time for artistic pursuits such as art making, music and acting. Others longed for the time and means to travel the world. To make our own long-held yearnings come to life, we used the congregation’s actual responses as the Call to Worship, read by Benny Rodriguez, Jean Howell, Sally Face and Dorothy Muller. For the Provocation, we wove together three stories performed by Kris Kliemann, Linda Herring and Dave Person. One was written by Anne Day, entitled “Artist’s Block” and told of her journey to reclaim her authentic creativity. The second story by Kathryn Groth, was “Baptism by a Purple Turtle” and told of a mystical experience that validated many years of spiritual study and inner work. The third tale, “Margaret
Meade at the Dump” from Jerry’s book was a synchronistic story of his willingness to allow the Divine to meet his basic needs of a winter coat and gloves. The service concluded with a beautiful solo by Shavonne Conroy, “Much More”, from The Fantastiks. The Benediction was delivered by Melissa Cattanach who read her original poem “Synchronicity in Creativity”. For Anne and me there was synchronistic power in immersing ourselves in these themes and symbols. We used a life–like turtle sculpture as a prop; it rested on the chancel table. A few nights before the service took place I had a dream about discovering a purple turtle while swimming with the women of my family. The next time I saw Kathryn, I said, “I think I met your purple turtle in my dreams the other night.” For Anne, the word ‘Surrender’ turned up in nearly everything she read. Her mother, who had attended the service, called her up not long after, “It’s so strange,” her mother said, “I see the word surrender everywhere lately.” Recently, Anne came across the following quote in a book by Caroline Myss: “We are each following different routes along the same general path that leads us all to the same final task: surrender the self. Only through realizing the futility of spinning our wheels in the direction of personal control do we finally wake up to the truth.”
feet and then showed me the black suede grandma shoes. “You’ll never find another pair like them anywhere,” he warned. He was right! Those black suede oxfords have walked all over New York City, going from meeting to meeting with me. They have cruised malls, been tourists in Ireland and Africa, gone to concerts, mourned at funerals, boogied as often as possible, attended dinner parties, walked the dog, and attended church. I would go anywhere in them
The shoes we wear speak volumes about our life’s journey. Iridescent shoes and dancing feet. Black suede walkers. Sculpted, flowered platform sandals. Lacey white wedding shoes. Pale suede pointed-toe boots. We live through our feet. My daughter will probably someday remember the remarkable shoes she bought when she was young – reminiscing while wearing a pair of utilitarian lace-up black suede oxfords.
INVITATION ATTACHED, continued from page 15
She took the sandals with her to Florida. the shoes would be happier there.
and pay anything for another pair. Now I collect miniature versions of lovely, imaginative, unwearable shoes. The pink iridescent spike heels I leave to my 20-year-old daughter. When she was home in December, she bought a pair of knee-high pale beige suede boots with dramatically pointed toes and stiletto three-inch heels. She also “had to have” towering sculpted wood platform sandals with a single large deep red leather flower at the instep. She painted her toe nails to match the flower and wore the shoes everywhere, despite the winter weather. She had them on in restaurants, at the mall, in a hip club, and to walk the dog. I was relieved when she took the sandals with her when she returned to college in Florida. The shoes would be happier there, I thought, than in New York City.
impact of gender, race and ethnicity. So when I teach, for example, “The Bible as Literature,” one of my courses this semester at Mercy, all of the strands of learning come together for myself and for the students, but each time in a new way. Like all “Great Books,” but also uniquely, the Bible comes alive when persons gather to bring to it their own experiences and honest responses. So here at South Church, on the afternoons of March 7, 14 (right around the time this Pulse goes to print) and 28, from 3 to 4:30, I invite you to share what you find in the books of Ruth, Esther and The Song of Songs: two short stories and a remarkable collection of poetry. Since successful discussion depends on preparation, I hope participants will read each book before the scheduled session, at least once. Any standard English version may be used that is not a paraphrase. Then come expecting something interesting to happen. If YOU are present, something will!
HAPPIEST GIRL, continued from page 3
small talk between nervous girls. We all went walking to the bathroom because of the excessive drinks of water and more importantly, realized that every singer was better than the next. It was like: oh, she's amazing. Wow, she's even more amazing. Geez, how good can one person possibly be? And then – oh no – I’m up next.
The mike was on. Maybe I could pretend it was broken, so nobody could hear me sing.
The sick-green feeling returned in my stomach. Let me out of here before I die – please. A cheery girl wearing knee socks and a short skirt walked off the stage, happy with her performance, and casually passed me the mike. As my name was announced I noticed the little green light which meant the mike was on. Maybe I could turn it off and pretend that it was broken so that nobody could hear me sing! Ah, I couldn't. It was taped down in the on position. Damn, I thought, half jokingly. As I walked on to the stage, I could feel the pressure of the people in the audience, wanting to know who had what to give next. Like hungry wolves – no, probably not – but I, of course, assumed that everyone was out to get me, so that's how I felt. Then I heard the descending scale, which marked the start of my piece. I
couldn't see anything in the audience. In fact, I wouldn't have known that anyone was there, besides me and the man in the balcony, who did the lights, except that I felt the people. Suddenly I started singing, and the words just started flowing, and the emotions of the song took over. I sang my no-longerloudly-beating heart out and tried so desperately to be heard and to be loved by all these people who didn't even know me. Love me, I thought, that's what competitions are about – who you love the most. Near the intense climax of the song, before the end, a loud applause began in a few areas of the audience, marked with a few cheers. Maybe they felt bad because my voice had cracked on a note a while back, or because another note didn't come out the way I had planned. Or maybe they liked me. No, I mean I wasn't phenomenal, just good. Then came another backstage period, of sitting and waiting and listening. Of course I was still utterly impressed with most of the people, but maybe a few of them weren't amazing. After hearing all the truly amazing singers, suddenly standards for “good” singing drastically sky-rocketed; a singer who would usually be very good became just decent. A few of the girls backstage told me that I had done an incredible job and that they were SURE I would make it to the top 5. I had almost forgotten that the competition went from 25 to 5 to the one winner. Ha ha. Top 5. I wasn't even thinking about
that. Yeah, right, I had already counted 5 girls who could sing circles around me any day, and the show wasn't even over. Then it was over. Not the whole show, but round 1. I had predictions on who would make the top 5. Suddenly all of the contestants were backstage, including myself, waiting to see if their name would be called to be in the top 5 and perform a second song. Ah, the anticipation. I couldn't hear a
I knew that the moment I got on stage I would lose total control.
breath. Maybe some beating hearts. I stood casually in the back wondering if my predictions were correct. They didn't include me, of course. Then the names: Oh, her – of course she'd get in. One point for me. Him? He wasn't great. That makes no sense. Her? What???...wait a second... that's – no way. I walked out onto that stage with a look of pure confusion on my face. The audience must have thought I was crazy or something. How incredibly odd. I was half aware of another 2 contestants who came after me, both of whom I knew would get in. I had 3 points now, for my correct predictions. And I was going to sing my next song?? How crazy. How wonderful! From the moment I heard my name (after the confusion and denial, of course) to the moment I got on stage, every
inch of my body was overflowing with confidence and happiness. They liked me! The judges liked me! They thought I was better than 20 of these people! I couldn't wait to do my second song. I loved the song and couldn't wait to show them what ELSE I had in me. It wanted to come out of me, and I knew that the moment I got on stage I would lose total control and the song would take over every part of me, so fast. It was true. With a radiant smile on my face and a microphone in my hand, I walked onto the stage as the jazzy intro to “Broadway Baby” began. It was all over, and it was all yet to begin. I loved it. And I was going to love it. Every single second of it. I soared through the song with an amount of charisma and zest that I didn't even realize I had. God, I was happy. I was on top of the world, for a moment in time. I was being listened to, I was being watched, I was being appreciated, and I was having the time of my life. I'm usually not an extreme boaster, but I really nailed that song. And at last was the climax: “Working for a nice man, like a Ziegfeld or a Weissman, in a Big Time BROADWAY SHO...OW!” I didn't win that night. Did I care? Not one bit. I was so happy! I had given it all I'd got. I was still dancing on a sunbeam with a sparkle in my eyes. So this was a story. About me, an ordinary girl, who, for a moment in time, was the happiest girl in the world.
PROFILE, continued from page 19
JOHN: What do you like most about our church? Communion service and the Deacon’s lunch afterwards. Is there a favorite Bible verse for you? Some of my favorite texts are “The Song of Songs” and Ezekiel’s valley of the dry bones. Anything else you’d like to tell us? To the junior and senior highs, I’d repeat the advice in Kurt Vonnegut’s alleged commencement address to the 1999 MIT graduating class – “Floss daily, and use sunscreen.” RADICAL HOSPITALITY, continued from page 13 church put aside their differences and strategies and simply stood together for an end to the violence of marginalization and an outcry against the human violence – lives would be saved by a church that all too often has looked the other way. Can you imagine a GA where we cared more about witnessing than winning? Where we cared more forthe other than for ourselves and our grand strategies? GA 216 cannot be about waiting any longer. I call for every group to stand together in full solidarity for the removal of G-6.0106b. It is time to love in a way that lays our (corporate) lives down for our sisters and brothers, for there is no greater gift and no greater call. Please reach out to your congregations, friends, and the organizations you support calling them to unified action at GA 216. Things are not acceptable the way
MICHAEL: What do you like most about the church? What I really like about the church is that they are open to everyone. Do you have a favorite Bible story? I like the story of Jonah and the whale despite how young you learn it. It gave, and still does give a powerful message.
I glance across the room, I see your face. So beautiful. I glance across the room, I see your soul, lively and loving. I glance across the room, I see your heart, so young and unhurt. Even though you are older than I am, but you look so innocent, unharmed, heaven sent, So much, I can no longer describe you in words.
Alexandra Conroy, 12
they are. Our voices must become louder than those who distance themselves from us, so that it is unmistakable to them that we accept nothing less than full and vocal support for the removal of G-6.0106b at GA 216. Thank you for your prayers and actions. NO LONGER
THE SHARING CORNER
Editor, Shavonne Conroy
TALENTS Organizing, clutter clearing & color choosing for your home. Donna Thompson, 914-524-7380 Fund Raising: I will post items for sale on EBay, proceeds to benefit SPC. Ray Bagnuolo, 914-682-3659 Move over, guys from ‘Queer Eye’: I'll do glamour make-overs on people who need a look for a special event — just for fun and for free! Shavonne Conroy, 914-478-1327 HELP NEEDED Dog walker/sitter, 3X a day in April. Linda Herring, 914-693-4229 Donna Thompson, 914-524-7380 needs help sheet-rocking a ceiling.