Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day Six in Chicago

I had the day off, it is after all Sunday. First I went to Mass at Mary of the Lake Parish Church. This is a beautiful church. The congregation is made up of everybody! There were Africans, Southeast Asians, the chronically mentally ill, yuppies, elderly and young families. The priest is from Nigeria.

Today is Mother’s Day and all of the mothers received flowers, prayers and our applause. I love this church. When I worked in Uptown (during the Carter administration) Sister Gloria Bednarski lived at the church convent and worked with me at the Hazel-Wilson Home. Sister Gloria now works with the poor in Honduras. So I feel a connection to this church. After Mass the priest called me to the rectory and gave me a book on the history of the church. I will treasure it.

Next I went to an African Church that met in a community center. This was the Christ Community Miracle Ministries. It was a small congregation but a lively church. The women were all dressed in bright dresses. The band consisted of drums, keyboard and percussions. I arrived for Sunday School and they had me reading before I could say “no”. The church was very charismatic and far too much energy for this stoic Scandinavian! I loved the accents, the music, the warmth and the enthusiasm. It was out of my comfort zone but that was OK. Unfortunately I had to leave before the service was over but I was happy to have discovered them.

In the afternoon I walked to Andersonville in the Edgewater area of Chicago. As I walked there I passed a number of different areas. There were murals all over the place. I saw women in full burqas, men with skull caps and turbans. As I walked Fort Wayne began to feel a little bland!

When we lived in Andersonville it was still predominantly Swedish with some Assyrians, Koreans and GLBT folks. Well, the old Swedish shops are still there. However, now there are so many new upscale restaurants and shops. Mediterranean food, Sicilian, Lebanese, Moroccan, Korean, Japanese all next to each other. The neighborhood could be a poster for tolerance of diversity. Men walk down the street holding hands, lesbian couples walk their dogs and show off their rainbow accessories, Middle East shop keepers sell their trade. I love this place. So, with all of this exotic food to choose from what do I do? I get a Chicago hotdog. These are hotdogs the way hotdogs were intended to be made, steamed, onion, tomato, mustard and celery salt.

In the evening we, the Kiao Community have Lord’s Day Prayer. We gather together and the worship is from The Lord’s Day Celebration. There is a reader, an assistant and the rest of us. The assistant lights a candle and we pray. This is a very structured prayer. We then end with prayers focused on specific prayer requests. This is a good community.

That was my day. Tomorrow it is back to work. It begins early with a training inservice by a Pastoral Counselor. I look forward to that.

Peace and all Good,

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