Admiral of Morality: Transformation

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Transformation

The latest issue of Trinity News, the faith-formation magazine of Trinity Church, Wall Street, is organized around the topic of transformation. The issue features excellent pieces on "Faith in Cinema," "Eight Ways to live the MDGs," and "The Death and Resurrection of St. Paul’s, Yonkers, one parish's bold resurrection life. Literally. As seen by the curate." Does this last one sound familiar? It should--it's by the Rev. Michael Moretz, curate of St. Paul's, and Fr. Matthew of YouTube's "Fr. Matthew presents."

There's also an excellent piece called "Who is my neighbor?" by Matthew Heyd, associate director of the Trinity Grants Program and chair of the Social Concerns Commission for the Episcopal Diocese of New York. He writes in part:
Incarnation not only defines who we are but requires us to act. In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the Great Commandment — proclaimed by Jesus — joins loving God to caring for our neighbors. In Luke, this declaration is followed by the familiar story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus’ clear point: God’s people are those who take action for their neighbors.

Parishes of any size, in any location, can tackle the hard work of nurturing transformational connections to their neighbors because relationships are transformation’s real core. There are few better examples than St. David’s Church in the South Bronx, not far from Yankee Stadium. Where once there were only vacant lots and burned-out apartment blocks, the parish has organized with other congregations to build 2,000 single family homes — most bought by first-time homebuyers. The parish has also helped launch two high-performing high schools and run crack dealers out of doorways a stone's throw from their front steps. Changes are so dramatic that a community organizer friend recently wrote that leaders like St. David’s vicar, the Rev. Bert Bennett, deserve as much credit for turning around New York City as former mayors like Koch and Giuliani. This claim sounds presumptuous until you walk around St. David’s neighborhood.

How did St. David's do this? With huge grants, a large staff, a gigantic endowment, a 1,000 person congregation? Not exactly. Follow this link to read the rest of this story of amazing grace.

On the Web
Trinity News
St. David's Church, Bronx
St. Paul's, Yonkers
Fr. Matthew Presents--YouTube video series

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