May 6, 2010 – conversations #3   Leave a comment

Our first work day, Monday, was hard and hot: many of us climbed up on a one-story roof with several soft spots. I had climbed on our roof as a child, for fun, but had never done actual roofing. Fortunately, none of our feet went through the soft spots. We took off all the tar shingles (wow, talk about hot!) with tooth-edged "shingle eaters" or smallish flat-edged shovel type tools. I realized that as I got close to the very edge, I felt more comfortable sitting down, so I started pulling the shingles up with my hands and found this was just as fast. I scooted around the roof, pulling up large swathes of old shingles and throwing them down to the tarps below, making sure not to hit the other workers who sometimes walked by. We were sure to drink a lot of water and took breaks from time to time.

After work, we were all very hungry, and descended on Whole Foods like starving vultures, eating a lot of the free snacks in the produce section and buying a lot of groceries!

When we came back to the church, there was a huge church dinner which the congregation of Little Farms UCC had cooked for us. Salad, red beans and rice, mac and cheese, greens, corn pudding, green beans with stuffing, chocolate cake, bread pudding with lemon sauce, brownies, and more. What a feast! Standing in line I got to talk with Daniel, the youngest member of the UCC choir with whom Bonnie and I sang the day before. He is 9 I think and delightful. So when it was time to sit down I looked for him, and sat with him. Nearby was A–, another member of the crew who’d been working with us on the roofing project, and who had asked for prayers for her sister that morning before we started work, as her sister was about to undergo surgery. We stopped and prayed together, and later we heard the surgery went well. At dinner, A– and I had a great conversation about many things. Most interesting to me was talking about our respective churches, with each group’s strengths and challenges. One of the struggles of her church is that it has discussed at length, and decided against, being "open and affirming," i.e., welcoming to gay and lesbian people. And even though her church is in a rural part of the Midwest and ours is in the urban East Bay, there were similarities our respective groups face. Coincidentally, she and I are both the financial secretaries of our congregations. I was happy to meet such an interesting, hard-working, deeply caring woman and could see that if my family had not left rural West Virginia in 1962, I might well have had a life very similar to hers.



Posted May 6, 2010 by NOLA-er in Uncategorized

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