What Are You Proud To Be?


Dear Sanctuary NYC Friends,

     Last Sunday after our service we had a community talk. It felt important to take this quiet time as a group to share about personal matters as well as organizational concerns. I came away from that meeting with deep gratitude for each person present.  Raised as the only child among many older people until I was seven years old, I witnessed my elders having real conversations with one another. Eleanor Roosevelt could have been talking about me when she said,  “Give me the child by the age of five, and I give you the man.”  I learned at a young age to deeply appreciate the art of discussion.  

     Conversation is different from simply relaying pertinent information. Conversation allows for twists and turns and for time. It allows for questions and reflection as it builds the capacity for entertaining complex thought, paradox and mystery. A good conversation is like a good meal, deeply satisfying and sustaining.

     We live in an era of sound bites, urgent tweets, and posts. I am not convinced this is working out too well. Depression and isolation are increasing and a new statistic tells us that 52% of people hate their jobs. I appreciate each of you and your ability to engage in meaningful dialogue about what matters. Toward this end, we will be celebrating NY Pride this Sunday by having a dialogue for part of our service, about what Pride means to you. You can be proud to be a Pisces, or a gay man, a playwright or a trumpet player. We are going to look into what it means to really affirm a God given quality that represents our uniqueness.

     Plan to get a bite to eat and come back at 5:30 for the final “Hear It Out!” play reading. This will be a new version of the first play of the series, by the very gifted Ozzie Stewart.

Can’t wait!
See you Sunday at 2 pm at West Park Presbyterian on 86th and Amsterdam.
We love to see your face.

Peace out,
Rev. Jane

Who Is Your Neighbor?

ImageDear Sanctuary NYC Fellow Travelers and Friends,

I’ve been wondering lately how and when most of Manhattan became one social class. It didn’t use to be that way at all. There was so much diversity that it was dizzying at times. One main block would be upscale, say Broadway, and then just one cross town block away, things could be remarkably different. Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues on the Upper Westside in the 1970’s and 80’s were very rich culturally. Bodegas, delicatessens, Irish pubs and Italian restaurants selling fresh pesto and homemade pasta were a part of many blocks. People with low incomes lived in neighborhoods with millionaires, and we all had a common living room…the street.
This was the way it was in The Villages East and West too, and on the Upper, Upper Eastside called Yorktown. The last statistics report that Manhattan is severely stratified…poor people and rich people…and more rich people. The article in the New York Times I read said that New York City, especially Manhattan, replicates the culture of a third world country.

In the section of the New Testament called the Beatitudes, Jesus teaches the paradoxical truths that really undergird his philosophy. He says that the blessed are the poor, the meek, and others who probably can’t afford to live in Manhattan these days.
At Sanctuary NYC we are very conscious of these inequities, and make a real effort to bring a dialogue to the table about food equity, human rights, civil rights, and we endeavor to learn how we might be part of a more just world.
We hope you will join us for one of  the “Hear It out” new play series, for next weekend’s triple header Friday night choir concert, Saturday night screening of “Call Me Kuchu’ at the Quad Cinema on 13th St, and a Sunday discussion about global human rights the following Sunday.
We will be contemplating the theme,”Who Is Your Neighbor?” this week, and we look forward to seeing or meeting you soon.

Be the change.
We love to see your face.

Rev. Jane