Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Reverend Laurie's Blog

Reverend Laurie's Blog - 01/31/2020

For the last three weeks on Thursday evenings Grace has welcomed Imam Saffet Catovic to speak to members of our congregation and interested folks from the neighborhood about Islam. Among the many things Saffet explained is the requirement that every Muslim pray five times a day, not only with their hearts and minds but in their bodies. Each prayer includes ritual hand washing. If there isn’t water available which there usually isn’t in the desert where Islam was born, dirt will do. Then believers turns east towards Mecca, take off their shoes, get down on their knees, prostrate themselves on the ground and proclaim, “Allah 'akbar”: “God is great.” Imagine beginning every prayer like

Reverend Laurie's Blog - 01/24/2020

Tom grew up in the Triangle Park neighborhood in the Greenville section of in Jersey City. Now in his early 30s, he spent some time in jail and was part of a gang. Tom says being in the gang was more of an inevitability than a choice. If you go outside your apartment to take a walk or have your lunch in the fresh air in the Triangle Park neighborhood the guys who are always standing by the liquor store as if waiting for a bus that will never come start to recognize you as from there and you have to take a side. There’s been a gang war going on around Triangle Park for years and there are few civilian boys over the age of fifteen. Some are initiated when they’re as young as twelve becaus

Reverend Laurie's Blog - 01/03/2020

My friend Francis was a devout Christian but being from the Dominican Republic she would often duct tape her prayers to make sure they stuck. There was always a brandy snifter half full of fresh water by her door. When my then church bought a vacant lot to build a community center I ripped the “For Sale” sign off of the fence that enclosed it and brought it with a bottle of champagne to Francis’ apartment. Before she filled glasses for us she poured some on the kitchen floor for the dead. At a particularly fraught zoning hearing where a decision to let us build the center would be granted or not, Francis wore ten safety pins inside of her bra, one for each of the zoning board members mou

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Grace Church Van Vorst  | 39 Erie Street  |  Jersey City, NJ 07302  |  Phone: 201-659-2211  |  office@gracevanvorst.org

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