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RE: Re: Bizarre neighbor/Soup Kitchens


Zip code 10021 in Manhattan has a large proportion of the wealthest people
on the globe as residents.  It also has soup kitchens run by religious
organizations dotting this gold coast. My family are members of Congregation
Emanu- El  in NYC  http://www.emanuelnyc.org/home.html which has run a
Sunday Lunch program for the homeless, elderly poor and the mentally ill for
many years. We are located on 5th avenue and 65th Street and don't get much
grief from our neighbors because most are out of town on the weekends at
their country houses. St. Andrew's Episcopal  (between 73rd and 72nd streets
on Madison avenue)  has run a weekday soup kitchen for many years which
discomfits its' neighbors at times in their pricey co-op apartments and
shops like the Ralph Loren NYC flagship Polo shop. There were complaints to
the local community board, and the appropriate NYC governmental agencies,
but the complainants were told, very politely to be sure, to grin and bear
it.  As there is no physical threat to the community that emanates from
these hungry individuals, and the fact that high society balls and parties
are most often given the fig leaf of charity affairs made further opposition
futile.  The rich take comfort in Mr. Giuliani's draconic welfare and social
service cuts. In our faith and social activist communities, caring New
Yorker's continue to do the good thing. In our Jewish tradition, the word
the concept is  Tikkun: to make the world that we have received from G-d a
better place under our stewardship. 


I'd invite some of your local TV, radio and print media to visit your
garden, the food pantry that it serves and to discreetly speak to some of
the folks that it benefits. I'd also give tours to neighbors showing them
what you are doing. I'd also invite the local public school to visit the
space on trips. The idea is to highlight that you are one of those "Points
of Light" that ex-President Bush gave lip service to all those years ago. 

Good luck,


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Cyndy Ross [SMTP:cynross@tir.com]
> Sent:	Tuesday, May 30, 2000 9:24 AM
> To:	Chuck Mattix; community_garden@mallorn
> Subject:	[cg] Re: Bizarre neighbor
> Pastor Chuck:
> First, thank you for your response.  I greatly appreciate your input.
> Please allow me to explain "labels".  Perhaps the subject line should read
> "bizarre encounter" as opposed to "...neighbor" --- I had a very long day
> in
> the garden after being horizontal for 5 days with the intestinal flu and I
> was still dazed by the encounter.  As for the "Methodist" title, it was in
> parenthesis as an afterthought to show they were not of the same theology
> as
> we (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America).  I don't know if Methodist
> view
> stewardship of this God-given planet the same as we do -- the ELCA
> formulated a mission statement on the ecology/environment in 1993.
> Because
> I don't know much at all about the Methodist theology, I was hoping to
> receive some light on the subject to better understand where their view
> point.  Thus, be better equipped to handle any more encounters.
> If you would provide me with your address, I will forward a copy of the
> ELCA's mission statement on the ecology/environment.  Then, perhaps you
> can
> tell me where we (ELCA & Methodists) agree & disagree.
> As for our own congregation, yes, we have difficult people.  However, no
> one
> opposes the community garden.  We have received numerous accolades from
> the
> congregation & passerby's, as well as other neighbors.
> I look forward to hearing from you.  Peace be with you.
> Sincerely,
> Cyndy Ross, Chairperson
> Fellowship, SLLC Organic Community Garden, Memorial Garden, & 'Welcoming
> Wagon' committees
> Sylvan Lake Lutheran Church
> 2399 Figa Avenue
> W. Bloomfield, MI 48324-1808
> Zone 6A
> cynross@tir.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chuck Mattix <kasmat@midusa.net>
> To: cynross@tir.com <cynross@tir.com>
> Date: Monday, May 29, 2000 3:13 PM
> Subject: RE: Bizarre neighbor
> >Cyndy,
> >    As a United Methodist pastor,  beginning a  Community Garden project
> in
> >Meade, Kansas,  I can empathize with your situation.   Most of the people
> in
> >our congregation have bought into the idea of a community garden and are
> >supportive of  its mission potential.   However,  finding a location for
> the
> >garden was a bit of a challenge for us.  Several of the places that would
> have
> >been better locations for our garden suddenly became "unavailable" to us.
> >Even trying to work through the local Ministerial Alliance didn't help.
> The
> >Community Garden is viewed as a "United Methodist" thing.  Folks from
> other
> >[unnamed] denominations haven't been very cooperative.
> >    I regret that your neighbor called "Buck" is identified as a
> "Methodist".
> >You might try thinking of him as a neighbor,  a property owner who
> doesn't
> >happen to share your vision,  rather than labeling him as "bizarre", or
> >"Methodist".   And I suspect that if you look in your own local church or
> your
> >own denomination you might just find personality types like "Buck".
> >
> >Pastor Chuck
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com
> https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden

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