Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Sunday & Monday
Zora Neale Hurston
You become what you are habitually with.
Sometimes, when we get a chance to talk with good friends and family in California and beyond, we are asked, “What is a typical day like for you in Detroit?” This is hard to answer because we don’t have "real" jobs. Which is to say: every day has a flavor of it’s own. In an attempt to still respond to this, we wanted to give you a glimpse of what our Sunday and Monday looked like this past week.
On Sunday, the church service starts at 10:30, but Tom had a Hospitality Committee to facilitate at 9am. Over a fresh Ethiopian roast and blueberry cornbread, we brainstormed some ideas for how we can be a more welcoming and serving community: revise and replace the old sign (harshly faded with wrong info) in the front of the church; start to organize the creation of a mural on the side of the church; update the website and a cultural food sharing day (April 26) to turn our potluck (every Sunday after church) into a banquet!
After church, Tom ran home with our backdoor neighbor Erinn and Lindsay took a group of college students from Loyola of Chicago on a tour of the Heidelberg Project and the Boggs Center on the Eastside. The Boggs Center was started by Grace Lee Boggs (now 99-years-old!) after the death of husband Jimmy. The center is a community space to host projects, conferences and summits working on a grassroots level across a wide variety of vital issues including food access, education reform, digital justice, youth leadership and minority empowerment.
The snowy afternoon provided the perfect context for Tom to make white bean chili, a favorite recipe of his mom’s. After dinner, Tom joined the Loyola students for a conversation about race, privilege and power. Lindsay got to take a much-needed deep breath!
The next morning, we led the students over to the Brightmoor community center to pick up a couple hundred gallons of water to transfer over to the church, which is a water delivery station. We met up with two of the founders of our favorite grassroots organization We The People of Detroit: Monica Lewis-Patrick and Debra Taylor. Through both laughter and tears, MLP and DT shared their story with the students.
Afterwards, Lindsay joined Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann and the students for a gentrification tour of Corktown, the neighborhood where our church has been for 85 years. Tom spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on some email communication with tenants of the church’s Peace & Justice Hive (which provides office space for nonprofits).
After a dinner of pasta and salad, Tom attended the weekly St. Peter’s Reads (we are currently reading Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault…don't read it: go pick up The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander instead!) and Lindsay attended her weekly race group hosted by our good friends Cindy and Janet. Tom got to sleep early, as Lindsay relaxed over some good reading and a little writing. On Tuesday morning, Tom biked to the soup kitchen just in time: the last minute of the ride, the snow storm started!
Last Wednesday, we attended a public hearing at the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department on proposed rates hikes. Tom spoke during the public comments and was interviewed afterwards. Read about it here.