Take Me to Church 11/18/18: A Very Judson Thanksgiving

Top: call to worship; bottom, leaves from the Judson Weekend painted by Prinny Alaví

Micah preached on gratitude this morning, and it was easy to be grateful with the scents of roasted turkey, spicy butternut squash, and pumpkin cheesecake hanging in the air.  It’s less easy, he observed astutely, to be grateful outside of this room, during this “time for the weird prophets”—a time that would feel apocalyptic were it not for the fact that the same nonsense just seems to happen every day.  If this is the apocalypse, it’s the long, drawn-out version, the Good Place reboot of the Book of Revelation.

But it’s worth remembering that “gratitude keeps resistance afloat.”  It is the air that fans the flame of revolution, that makes us feel that we have something, someone for which we ought to keep fighting.  The testimony in motion from dancer Adela Filipovic underscored the message: while car horns blared around Washington Square, and the coffeemakers that whine like fussy babies finished their tasks in preparation for the dessert course, Adela, in white, performed a dance in which she eventually embraced a pillow that emptied itself of its trove of white feathers, floating to the tiled floor of the old baptistry that hasn’t been a baptistry for at least fifty years.  Beneath the surface, grace still lives.

In Celebrations and Concerns: While we waited to eat pie, we remembered death on scales large and small. We’ll be observing Trans Day of Remembrance, World AIDS Day, and International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers while we fret over wine and scarves.  And Randy Jones died at 94.  After decades and decades of ministry in the United Methodist Church, he renounced his ordination in protest of the UMC’s lukewarm position on the dignities and freedoms of LGBTQ+ persons.  He loved raising tomatoes and building bluebird houses, and his wife and their son.

We ate the pie.  I brought the same salad I always make: dark greens and arugula, with goat cheese, cranberries, and walnuts.  Someone put on some music—”Celebrate” by Kool and the Gang, probably.  Adela swept up the feathers.  Jane and Rachel policed the compost bins.  There were leftovers.  We were grateful.



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