Take Me to Art 5/15/19: Undiscovered Countries (Judson Arts Wednesdays)

Screenshot 2019-05-19 at 9.05.04 PM
Undiscovered Countries on Facebook

On Wednesday nights, when Judson becomes an arts venue (always free for both artists and audience, always live, always uncensored), the Meeting Room looks different.  The LaFarge windows only suggest the saints and angels within themselves; there are more shadows, the Vignette on the Instagram turned all the way up; more ways to be ambiguous, more ways to hide and then emerge.

In the dimmed room, as the Judson staff and the artists of Undiscovered Countries worked together to set the stage for the show, I was reminded of why Judsin Arts Wednesdays are so important, both for us as a faith community and for the artists who come to work and perform there.  There was the lighting, the sound system, the microphones carefully placed and adjusted; the infrastructure often barely visible to an audience, but so important for artists to be able to access as they grow their art and the audience for it.  Before the show even started, I was grateful just for that, for the columns holding up our aging building, for the people who take such good care of both it and the people who take spiritual, artistic, and religious shelter within it.

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Take Me to Church 5/19/19: Have You Ever Thought about Just Shutting Your Mouth?

Photo: freestocks.org on Unsplash

It might surprise you to learn that I don’t always want to come to church.  I frequently, even usually, get myself to church more or less of my own accord, and once I’m there, snickering with Jessica while we mark up the scores during choir practice or serving snacks during Coffee Hour or, well, taking notes on the sermon, I’ve long forgotten my reluctance to peel myself out of bed.  But today I woke up with a headache, and the thought of staying in bed, complete with the cat perched on my chest, was terribly tempting.  The only thing that got me moving was remembering that it was New Member Sunday.  I’ve been involved in the process of inviting the nine wonderful folks who officially joined Judson today through my work on the Membership Committee, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be with them as they, to borrow Lyla’s words, made their relationships with and accountability to Judson official.  So I took a quick shower, popped a few Advil, poured my coffee in my travel mug, and headed out.

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#FlashFictionFriday: Holy Water for Home Use

Photo: Joel Drzycimski on Unsplash

I had a whole other idea for Flash Fiction Friday, but then I randomly came across the photo at left on Unsplash (where I get all the stock photography I use to illustrate my blog posts) and decided I had a better idea.


Holy Water for Home Use

Yes, it’s free, you can take it.  We appreciate it if you leave a donation, of course, but there’s no charge.

Why?  Why the donation?  Well, everything costs money—oh, you mean the water itself.


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Poem: 92 Pine

I had a dream a little while back that took place in a neighborhood that looked roughly like the far north end of Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint.  I did live in Greenpoint, although not that part, but I did spend time there during a different phase of my life.  The dream affected me so much that I wrote this poem about it.

92 pine

Photo credits, top to bottom: David Kennedy on Unsplashjonathan wilson rosas peña on Unsplash; Karl on Unsplash.


Take Me to Church 5/12/19: Setting the Table

Photo: pepe nero on Unsplash

I was at church for five-and-a-half hours today, the kind of numbers a congregant usually puts up in a tradition pretty different from that of Judson.  But there was a lot going on today, and as the ancient testimonies reminded me this morning, I’ve become a bit of a Martha at church after spending my first few years as a Mary.  There’s nothing wrong with taking either position—in one of my favorite sermons of Donna’s, she invited us to consider the ways in which we both “host” and “guest” at church.  I came back to church in my late twenties after a lot of “hosting” in my everyday life, and I was relieved to have a space in which I was free to be a “guest.”  These days I’m a lot more of a “host”—hence five-and-a-half hours at church.

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