A lot of African American music and themes of diversity and justice today. Two of our preachers spoke about race, and I wish there were more black pastors in the pews. Maybe in the years to come? And Yesterday Barbara Lundblad gave a wonderful sermon about justice, outrage, and hope, and drew some wonderful cross-analogies between the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the Prophet Jeremiah.
So much to think about. I can’t support the ‘youtubization’ of an entire career of ministry, as if a man’s life, his society, as if his (or anyone’s) career can be contorted into sound bites. But with so much ‘anger in the room,’ what happens next? What is it we really want to say? Wouldn’t it be good if we could buy a field over this? And by that I mean, find a little common ground? I hope so! But we can only do that if we have the courage to sit and listen, and then to speak.
Today it was Michael Curry, an Episcopalian Bishop in North Carolina, who preached then spoke. What a charismatic and awe inspiring preacher! Wow. He finished the lecture with an illustration from a scene the movie Roots, where Kunta Kinte is beaten until he submits to be called Toby. And how we all carry these names that are not our true names, but are given to us by the cruelty of the world. (I can’t even try to explain the lesson, you simply had to be there because it was a thing you felt in your spirit and your gut.)
Anyway, on leaving the church my mom tells me a family story. She says that my Aunt Annabel owned an home in London and towards the end of her life had rented out the top portion to a man named Alex Haley. Small world.
[Note from my mother: This is a family story and has not been confirmed one way or the other. It might be wishful thinking on the part of some relative.]
[Note from me: I hope it’s true.]
Coolest song today: “Thuma Mina.”
Most fun: Muffin the cat’s transformation from a balding, drooling wreck, to a mouse hunting super-predator who discovered her purpose and did that which God had intended her to do. (This courtesy of Michael Curry. Go Muffin!)
Best advice for writer-preachers: Zachariah vs Mary. Anna Florence Carter’s advice that you have to move into God’s word and experience it before you can ever hope to preach it.
Other than that, Mom and I enjoyed another breakfast at Hell’s Kitchen, yum. And I’m seriously wondering if there are as many pubs in Ireland as there are bars in Minnesota. Goodness me!! Three things I’ve never seen before:
1. A bar attached to a Starbucks. No one from the Pacific Northwest is going to believe me so I have this picture to prove it.
2. Starbucks closes in the afternoon in Minneapolis. We went by some time around 5 and the ONLY Starbucks around was already closed. There is also a Starbucks kiosk in the hotel, it closes at 12:30 in the afternoon. For real.
3. A ‘drink and drive’ pub. Yup, booze is to Minneapolis what coffee is to Seattle. There was a new drink and drive vehicle on the road today, a ‘tour and beer’ bus. Your party can rent it out. Everyone takes a seat and starts to pedal. You can ride around wherever you like. And as you are riding around, you can enjoy what is served for refreshment on that cart: lots and lots of yummy beer.
This is truly a beer crazy city.