Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday, July 5th, 2010 MNM Homeless Outreach

Today we went to out to different mosques, temples, cathedral, and synagogues in the city during Theology and Art. Theology and Art today we focus on experience religious spaces and ask ourselves questions:

How and what does the art and architecture of worship space communicate?

Feel This:

What felings does this space evoke in you? What in its art or architecture contributes to that?

Notice This:

What does the architecture or the art seek to focus your attention on?

Understand This:

does the space say about God?

Compare: What does your home church communicate in comparision?

Pray: Pray for those that worship here, that they may become disciples (learners and followers) of Christ, and then go and make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:18-20)

In groups of 8-9 we split off into groups to visit these sites below:

Group 1

Temple Emanu-El

Group 2

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Group 3

The Church of the Transfiguration

The Church of the Transfiguration

Hindo Temple

Group 4

Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

All Souls Unitarian Universalitist Church

Islamic Cultural Center of New York

I was in group 1 as we saw a Jewish temple and Catholic Cathedral. I felt I was out of place at the Jewish temple the space is magnificent and in size with high ceilings and walls to hold the beautiful decorative ceiling. There were colored glass windows with illuminating light from the stage with menorahs and equally balanced symmetry. The aisle was carpet with red and the space feel estrange and quiet. We were not allowed to take photographs and the guard eye's watch our every move feeling like we cannot talk. I felt we were only allowed to observe and restricted in what we can do to participate or interact with a divine person in this space. I expect they view God is distant and indifference toward His people in this space and that to please God is to obey a certain decree.

The Cathedral was a completely different experience because it has similar icons from Christianity I'm used to. The guards are friendly and did not followed us around. The space was much larger and has more windows for light from the ceiling. It was a more popular site so there were many people who came and visit the site. We were allowed to take photographs and to participate with these religious icons and divine God. There was a gift shop which you can buy religious icons, as well pay for candle offering and participate in the Monday noon service. I felt more comfortable that others are either praying at the congregational benches or participating with the divine God so there is a sense of unity among those who go there not to visit but practice their Catholicism beliefs. They had stained glass as the Jewish temple. There were more saint icons than there were of Jesus which bothers me.

At St. Patrick's Cathedral people can pay $2 to light a candle as an offering for saints to pray for you. I am a skeptic about this and maybe they truly believe in this but I see it as superstitious and not beneficial. I rather have a direct relationship and pray to the Father, Jesus or the Holy Spirit because they are God. Saints maybe divine but not God. I don't feel like there need to be an advocate other than Jesus for us to have a direct relationship with God.

This image is of a preliminary process of my individual image for our group collaborative. I appreciate the transparency and overlapping quality of the different images that communicate to each other. The image I am portraying is of a man in the act of betraying someone casting a malice shadow of his words and action disembody someone. The man who is in the act of betrayal is replace by a man who feel guilty of his deed of betrayal.

Homeless Outreach
Tonight we went out to the streets to talk to those who are needy. I teared up as we viewed a documentary about homeless population in the United States. I have a problem with the statics and lack of resolve of equal housing for all. Afterwards Sarah from the inner city track gave her testimony and told us a story of a little boy who was sexually abused and shuffle from one home to another. The little boy went from being homeless to juvenile and doing drugs until a man help him as a teenager in New York City by mentioning the love of God. The little boy is her father which touches home not to feel guilty or sorry for Sarah but to be motivate to reach the homeless that night. We were giving P&J sandwiches but more than food Sarah express their greatest need is God and a person to listen to their issues and stories to know someone cares. My group went out to 55th and 5 avenue to talk to homeless people sitting on the steps of St. Thomas Cathedral. I got to talk to two men one Milian and another Bryan. At first it was awkward and hard to get into conversation because I did not know what to say or ask this man. I start by asking Milian where he's from and try to get him to talk about his life. In the end I show him my art which he was captivated by and we talk about his upbringing.

Milian is an older married man who been homeless for 9 years since he loss his job. He haven't been able to find work
since and we talked and hand him food. Milian grew up on the streets of New Jersey and said he has no family there. He
said he knew Jesus and his grandfather is a minister. He keep saying God won't answer us when we pray only when
others pray on our behalf intercessory pray when God listen to us, which I feel is a misconception about prayer. We
prayed for God to bless Milian and that he would be on his feet again.

Second man I talked to is from Honduras by the name of Bryan. He been unemployed for 5 years looking diligently on his
to support his family wife, son who is 8 and daughter who is 7. He was employed as a Thai restaurant but was release 5
years ago and can not find a stable job. His hispanic friends came by one in particular was friendly. He shared his
frustration and we talked about watching the world cup soccer. He said he believes in Jesus and that God will answer
prayer but right now he is frustrated with life. We asked what we can pray for him on his behalf and it was for God to help
provide a job and house. What I learn from this experience is the power of prayer, and how much I take for granted that for
the job opportunity God provided for me with a part time job at Patriot Center and work study. I should feel humble for what
whatever God given me.

Later that night after our outreach I was hungry so I went to one of the Epic guy apartment. Daniel offered authentic chinese
lo mein and dumplings for dinner since he haven't ate dinner yet. I ate some but Daniel want to go running so I followed him
because I want to get to know him more personally. I felt he has a story to share and we went running from 34th and 7th
avenue to West Avenue by the Hudson River downtown toward Tribeca area. While we lightly jog we talked a lot bout our s
stories growing up. He shared about his Filipino culture and family as well as his developing relationship with a girl named
Emily on project. He and her talked about dating but felt God is calling them to wait till an appropriate time after project to
start this dating relationship. He is skeptic about starting one because he had issues of making dating relationship an idol in
high school. He is humble about his faith and how much he can still learn to walk with God and I admire the man for his
intention to DTR with Emily. I look forward to see how else God will use Daniel on this trip.

Quote of the Day
"These P&J sandwiches are solid, they weight a good amount." Steve

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