Sunday, June 17, 2012

Clueless Father's Day Sermon

This Father's Day sermon is based on the Parable of the Mustard Seed in Mark 4: 26-34.

There’s an old saying, “Tell me and I’ll forgot, show me and I’ll remember, let me try it and I’ll understand.”  Today’s reading from Mark says that Jesus “explained everything in private to his disciples.”  Well, when it comes to the parable of the mustard seed, I think the disciples forgot.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Upcoming! Giant Coloring Book

Next week the city is planning to shut down half of the Williamsburg Bridge pedestrian/bike path.  Chaos is expected to ensue as the same number of bikes and pedestrians try to fit in half the space.
What would help put people in a better mood as they prepare to navigate the crowded bridge? How about a giant paint-your-own-adventure coloring book!

That's right, we spent the past couple of a weeks creating a 5 foot tall coloring book about an Elephant on roller skates who tries to cross the Williamsburg bridge!  Each page is available for coloring using paint brushes, because crayons just can't handle this scale!  But wait, there's more!  Each page is specially customized with questions about what is happening in the picture.  You answer these questions and decide the characters' fate by choosing which colors to paint the scene!
Why is the elephant crossing the bridge?

  1. She can't sleep at night and is wandering randomly
  2. She is going to a party on the other side
  3. Her family is enslaved by an evil penguin and she is going to rescue them
  4. Extreme ennui 
Come Saturday, June 16th, 2:30pm, to the Continental Army Plaza at the (only) pedestrian entrance to the Williamsburg bridge, paint your answer and bring some mellowness to stressed out hipsters!    

Soap Bubble Service

A few weeks ago, the pastor of Organic Faith in Buffalo, NY sent me an email saying his community was planning a mission trip to NYC entitled "This is Church."  He thought I might be able to put his crew to use while simultaneously giving them another perspective of what church is.  
So when the folks from Organic Faith arrived in Brooklyn, I put them to work spreading joy by inviting people in Bushwick to make giant soap bubbles filled with food coloring and catching them on foam board.   

The crew was divided into two teams.  One team hung out on the sidewalk in front of Animamus Art Salon and played with the hipsters/artists wandering around Bushwick Open Studios

One team went to the local park and played with the neighborhood kids.
Both teams got covered in the messy colors of random strangers creating beauty together. 

At the end of the day, when pressed to tie the experience in to the theme of "This is Church," one of the people from Organic Faith responded, “I guess I just realized that the Church is just SO MUCH MORE than I ever thought of before!  Really, anything can be church… life is church.” Sounds good to me.  May it always be filled with the invitation to make giant bubbles of color.  Amen.
Check out more of Organic Faith's reflections and pictures of the experience here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tin Can Thuribles

This past weekend was Bushwick Open Studios.  In celebration there was a Parade of Art on Saturday.  Franciscan Brother Max Kolbe pointed out to me that tin cans can be used to make thuribles (portable incense burners used in blessings) which paraders could swing to billow incense as they marched.
So Saturday morning, I went down to Bushwick with a bunch of cans and set up shop on a street corner! 
The construction is pretty simple:  1) Punch holes in the side of an empty tin can.  2) Attach a wire handle.  3) Place a wire screen over the top and clip it with cloths pins (this allows you to open and add charcoal/incense even after the can is hot).  4) Tie a rope to the handle.  5) Place charcoal in the can and light it.  6) Put indirect-burning incense on the charcoal. 7) Swing the thurible.
Somehow I completely missed the parade.  But I met a bunch of folks, and a handful of them even made thuribles with which to wander around spreading sweet perfume and blessing the world!